Retrieval-based word learning in young typically developing children and children with developmental language disorder I: The benefits of repeated retrieval

Laurence B. Leonard, Jeffrey Karpicke, Patricia Deevy, Christine Weber, Sharon Christ, Eileen Haebig, Sofía Souto, Justin B. Kueser, Windi Krok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Scholars have long noted that retention improves significantly when learners frequently test themselves on the new material rather than engage in continuous study with no intermittent testing. In this study, we apply the notion of repeated testing or retrieval to the process of word learning in preschool-age children with and without developmental language disorder (DLD). Method: Novel words and their meanings were taught to 10 children with DLD and 10 typically developing (TD) children matched on age (DLD, M = 63.4 months; TD, M = 63.2 months). Recall was assessed immediately after the 2nd learning session and then again 1 week later. Results: Both groups showed better retention when they had attempted to retrieve the words during the learning period than when they had simply listened to and studied the words paired with their referents. Relative to their TD peers, the children with DLD seemed to be weaker in their encoding, but these children’s retention over a 1-week period was indistinguishable from that of their age mates. Conclusion: Word learning activities that include opportunities for repeated retrieval appear to significantly benefit retention relative to more traditional word learning activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)932-943
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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