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Incidental Learning and Long-Term Retention of New Word Meanings From Stories: The Effect of Number of Exposures

Hulme, RC; Barsky, D; Rodd, JM; (2019) Incidental Learning and Long-Term Retention of New Word Meanings From Stories: The Effect of Number of Exposures. Language Learning , 69 (1) pp. 18-43. 10.1111/lang.12313. Green open access

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Abstract

This study used a Web‐based naturalistic story‐reading paradigm to investigate the impact of number of exposures on incidental acquisition and long‐term retention of new meanings for known words by native English‐speaking adults. Participants read one of four custom written stories in which they encountered novel meanings (e.g., a safe concealed within a piece of furniture) for familiar words (foam). These meanings appeared two, four, six, or eight times in the narrative. Results showed reasonably good memory of the new meanings, assessed by cued recall of novel meanings and word forms, after only two exposures, emphasizing the importance of initial encounters. Accuracy in cued recall of novel meanings showed a linear, incremental increase with more exposures. There was no significant forgetting after 1 week, regardless of the number of exposures during training, demonstrating the efficiency with which adults acquire new word meanings incidentally through reading and retain them over time.

Type: Article
Title: Incidental Learning and Long-Term Retention of New Word Meanings From Stories: The Effect of Number of Exposures
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/lang.12313
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12313
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Number of exposures, incidental learning, word meaning, acquisition, homonyms, first language, vocabulary learning, story reading
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057139
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