Complexities of Expressive Word Learning Over Time Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine semantic and lexical aspects of word learning over time. Method Thirty-four 8-year-olds participated in vocabulary lessons for 2 weeks. Frequency of exposure and informativeness of semantic context were manipulated. A definition task assessed semantic learning and a naming task ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2007
Complexities of Expressive Word Learning Over Time
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karla K. McGregor
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Li Sheng
    Northwestern University, Evanston
  • Tracy Ball
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Contact author: Karla K. McGregor, 121c SHC, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242. E-mail: karla-mcgregor@uiowa.edu.
  • Li Sheng is now at the University of Texas–Austin.
    Li Sheng is now at the University of Texas–Austin.×
Article Information
Development / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2007
Complexities of Expressive Word Learning Over Time
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2007, Vol. 38, 353-364. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/037)
History: Received July 10, 2006 , Accepted January 26, 2007
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2007, Vol. 38, 353-364. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/037)
History: Received July 10, 2006; Accepted January 26, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 25

Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine semantic and lexical aspects of word learning over time.

Method Thirty-four 8-year-olds participated in vocabulary lessons for 2 weeks. Frequency of exposure and informativeness of semantic context were manipulated. A definition task assessed semantic learning and a naming task assessed lexical learning.

Results Semantic and lexical knowledge accrued over time and were maintained after a 1-month interval. Higher frequency of exposure had an immediate effect on semantic learning and a more gradual effect on lexical learning. Frequency of exposure coupled with informative context promoted semantic learning.

Clinical Implications Speech-language pathologists should be mindful of the richness of the learning context and the redundancy of massed and distributed exposures. Learning at the semantic and lexical levels can dissociate so both should be addressed.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
We thank the children and families who participated as well as Anne Graham, Molly Keegan, Kristy Grohne Reilly, Alicia Tam, and Tracie Machetti, who assisted with stimulus creation, data collection, and coding. The first author gratefully acknowledges the support of NIH-NIDCD 2 R01 DC003698-06 during the analysis and writing of this project.
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