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Title: Learning Words Via Reading: Contextual Diversity, Spacing, and Retrieval Effects in Adults
Authors: Pagán, Ascensión
Nation, Kate
First Published: 7-Jan-2019
Publisher: Wiley for Cognitive Science Society
Citation: Cognitive Science, 2019, 43 (1), e12705
Abstract: We examined whether variations in contextual diversity, spacing, and retrieval practice influenced how well adults learned new words from reading experience. Eye movements were recorded as adults read novel words embedded in sentences. In the learning phase, unfamiliar words were presented either in the same sentence repeated four times (same context) or in four different sentences (diverse context). Spacing was manipulated by presenting the sentences under distributed or non‐distributed practice. After learning, half of the participants were asked to retrieve the new words, and half had an extra exposure to the new words. Although words experienced in diverse contexts were acquired more slowly during learning, they enjoyed a greater benefit of learning at immediate posttest. Distributed practice also slowed learning, but no benefit was observed at posttest. Although participants who had an extra exposure showed the greatest learning benefit overall, learning also benefited from retrieval opportunity, when words were experienced in diverse contexts. These findings demonstrate that variation in the content and structure of the learning environment impacts on word learning via reading.
DOI Link: 10.1111/cogs.12705
ISSN: 0364-0213
eISSN: 1551-6709
Embargo on file until: 7-Jan-2020
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2019, Wiley for Cognitive Science Society. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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