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Evaluating the Role of Multisensory Elements in Foreign Language Acquisition

Authors: Sari Myréen


The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of multisensory elements in enhancing and facilitating foreign language acquisition among adult students in a language classroom. The use of multisensory elements enables the creation of a student-centered classroom, where the focus is on individual learner’s language learning process, perceptions and motivation. Multisensory language learning is a pedagogical approach where the language learner uses all the senses more effectively than in a traditional in-class environment. Language learning is facilitated due to multisensory stimuli which increase the number of cognitive connections in the learner and take into consideration different types of learners. A living lab called Multisensory Space creates a relaxed and receptive state in the learners through various multisensory stimuli, and thus promotes their natural foreign language acquisition. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected in two questionnaire inquiries among the Finnish students of a higher education institute at the end of their basic French courses in December 2014 and 2016. The inquiries discussed the effects of multisensory elements on the students’ motivation to study French as well as their learning outcomes. The results show that the French classes in the Multisensory Space provide the students with an encouraging and pleasant learning environment, which has a positive impact on their motivation to study the foreign language as well as their language learning outcomes.

Keywords: Foreign language acquisition, foreign language learning, higher education, multisensory learning, pedagogical approach, transcultural learning.

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