Ladislav Václavík is a teacher-researcher at Masaryk University Language Centre, Brno, Czech Republic. Specialising in both Business English and French for Specific Purposes (academic, medical), I am mainly interested in creativity, motivation, course-building, ICT, and blended-learning areas.
In these revolutionary times of technological progress, the use of ICT has become widespread. It is used in all areas of language learning and influences both the learning and the teaching process. Quizlet is an online flashcard programme which offers learners opportunities to enhance their vocabulary. The following article describes an experiment conducted in three ESP classes of Business English at the Faculty of Business and Administration of Masaryk University, Czech Republic. In two of the classes, the use of Quizlet was promoted both in class and out of class throughout the term. The learners in the remaining class, the control group, did not use Quizlet. The experiment took place during one of the seminars. Learners in different groups were asked to study carefully chosen sets of twenty English-Czech word pairs, using either Quizlet or classic, paper-based lists. In one of the Quizlet sets, the meaning of the words was illustrated using context clues. A series of two translation tests then gauged the students’ active and passive knowledge of the word meanings. As a follow-up, the results of the translation part of the final credit test were compared. Also, a questionnaire was distributed, mapping learners’ study habits as well as their attitude to Quizlet. The experiment was designed to determine if, and to what degree, Quizlet helps learners acquire vocabulary more efficiently, and to help us investigate the role of context in learning vocabulary. In this presentation, I will describe and discuss the results of the experiment, which illuminate how students perceive Quizlet in terms of effectiveness and user-friendliness.