Remembering New Words: Integrating Early Memory Development into Word Learning  

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Full Text Available In order to successfully acquire a new word, young children must learn the correct associations between labels and their referents. For decades, word-learning researchers have explored how young children are able to form these associations. However, in addition to learning label-referent mappings, children must also remember them. Despite the importance of memory processes in forming a stable lexicon, there has been little integration of early memory research into the study of early word learning. After discussing what we know about how young children remember words over time, this paper reviews the infant memory development literature as it relates to early word learning, focusing on changes in retention duration, encoding, consolidation and retrieval across the first two years of life. A third section applies this review to word learning and presents future directions, arguing that the integration of memory processes into the study of word learning will provide researchers with novel, useful insights into how young children acquire new words.




Causal Supports for Early Word Learning (United States)

What factors determine whether a young child will learn a new word? Although there are surely numerous contributors, the current investigation highlights the role of causal information. Three-year-old children (N = 36) were taught 6 new words for unfamiliar objects or animals. Items were described in terms of their causal or noncausal properties.…

Booth, Amy E.



Speaker Variability Augments Phonological Processing in Early Word Learning (United States)

Infants in the early stages of word learning have difficulty learning lexical neighbors (i.e. word pairs that differ by a single phoneme), despite their ability to discriminate the same contrast in a purely auditory task. While prior work has focused on top-down explanations for this failure (e.g. task demands, lexical competition), none has…

Rost, Gwyneth C.; McMurray, Bob



If it's red, it's not Vap: how competition among words may benefit early word learning. (United States)

One of the most prominent issues in early cognitive and linguistic development concerns how children figure out meanings of words from hearing them in context, since in many contexts there are multiple words and multiple potential referents for those words. Recent findings concerning on-line sentence comprehension suggest that, within the conversational context, potential referents compete for mappings to words. Three experiments examined whether such competitive processes may play a role in young children's learning of novel adjectives in an artificial word learning task. According to a competitive process view, although young children often mismap adjectives to whole objects rather than the properties of objects, explicitly mentioned familiar words should strongly map to referents consistent with those words and thereby decrease the likelihood of novel words being mismapped to these referents. Experiments 1 and 2 examined the role of the mere mention of familiar words and the role of word order in two year olds' ability to map a novel adjective to a property. Experiment 3 examined these processes in three year olds. The results indicate that lexical competition plays a particularly strong role in helping two year olds map a novel object to a property, whereas syntactic information about form class may also be informative to older children. The results suggest how fundamental processes of lexical competition in on-line word comprehension may give young learners a way to leverage known words in learning new words. PMID:23559688

Yoshida, Hanako; Hanania, Rima



The Effect of Semantic Density and Sound Density on Early Word Learning (United States)

Early lexical acquisition is affected by biases and constraints within learners, but also by patterns and statistical regularities within a learner's environment. Much of the previous work examining the effect of statistical regularities on word learning has been directed at phonological regularities. Particularly, research has focused on the…

Sahni, Sarah Devi



Foreign Language Learning, Hyperlexia, and Early Word Recognition. (United States)

A study involving a high-school student with hyperlexia and a student with above average word recognition skills, found they scored higher on Spanish proficiency tasks that required the exclusive use of phonological and phonological/orthographic skills than on Spanish proficiency tasks requiring listening comprehension and speaking and writing…

Sparks, Richard L.; Artzer, Marjorie



Vocalic and consonantal processing biases in early word-learning: Cross-language differences?  

DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

Previous research showed that French-learning 16- or 20-month-olds could learn pairs of words that differed by a single consonantal but not vocalic feature. Danish has a richer vowel inventory than French, allowing for 31 phonological vowel contrasts, including vowel length and presence/absence of stod (laryngealization). The purpose of Experiment 1 was to test whether Danish-learning 20-month-olds, in spite of the importance of vowels in Danish phonology, showed a lack of sensitivity to one-feature vocalic differences in lexical learning similar to that of French-learning infants. The experiment made use of the same word-learning task as that used for French 16-month-olds. As opposed to the French-learning infants, the Danish-learning infants successfully learned the vowel pairs indicating sensitivity to small vocalic differences in word-learning. Experiment 2 tested the use of vowels in word-learning in French-learning 20-month-olds using the same task. They failed again. On the other hand, ongoing tests indicate that Danish-learning 20-month-olds, as opposed to French-learning 16- or 20-month-olds, fail to use one-feature consonantal differences in word-learning. These results may suggest that infants develop processing biases in word-learning depending on the sound-structure of their language.

HØjen, Anders; Nazzi, Thierry



Learning Words through Overhearing. (United States)

Three studies examined 2-year-olds' ability to learn novel words when overhearing these words used by others. Found that children ages 2.5 years were equally good at learning novel object labels and action verbs when they were overhearers as when they were directly addressed. For younger 2-year-olds, this was true for object labels, but results…

Akhtar, Nameera; Jipson, Jennifer; Callanan, Maureen A.



Who's Learning What Words and How Fast? Preschoolers' Vocabulary Growth in an Early Literacy Program (United States)

This study examined the composition of vocabulary and preschoolers' vocabulary learning in an early literacy program. Fifty-six children with typical achievement, with special needs, and at risk for disabilities participated. Curriculum-based measures (CBM) were used to track children's receptive and expressive vocabulary growth over three…

Roskos, Kathleen; Ergul, Cevriye; Bryan, Tanis; Burstein, Karen; Christie, James; Han, Myae



A familiar font drives early emotional effects in word recognition. (United States)

The emotional connotation of a word is known to shift the process of word recognition. Using the electroencephalographic event-related potentials (ERPs) approach it has been documented that early attentional processing of high-arousing negative words is shifted at a stage of processing where a presented word cannot have been fully identified. Contextual learning has been discussed to contribute to these effects. The present study shows that a manipulation of the familiarity with a word's shape interferes with these earliest emotional ERP effects. Presenting high-arousing negative and neutral words in a familiar or an unfamiliar font results in very early emotion differences only in case of familiar shapes, whereas later processing stages reveal similar emotional effects in both font conditions. Because these early emotion-related differences predict later behavioral differences, it is suggested that contextual learning of emotional valence comprises more visual features than previously expected to guide early visual-sensory processing. PMID:25226214

Kuchinke, Lars; Krause, Beatrix; Fritsch, Nathalie; Briesemeister, Benny B



Infants Track Word Forms in Early Word-Object Associations (United States)

A central component of language development is word learning. One characterization of this process is that language learners discover objects and then look for word forms to associate with these objects (Mcnamara, 1984; Smith, 2000). Another possibility is that word forms themselves are also important, such that once learned, hearing a familiar…

Zamuner, Tania S.; Fais, Laurel; Werker, Janet F.



Learning builds on learning: infants' use of native language sound patterns to learn words. (United States)

The current research investigated how infants apply prior knowledge of environmental regularities to support new learning. The experiments tested whether infants could exploit experience with native language (English) phonotactic patterns to facilitate associating sounds with meanings during word learning. Infants (14-month-olds) heard fluent speech that contained cues for detecting target words; the target words were embedded in sequences that occur across word boundaries. A separate group heard the target words embedded without word boundary cues. Infants then participated in an object label learning task. With the opportunity to use native language patterns to segment the target words, infants subsequently learned the labels. Without this experience, infants failed. Novice word learners can take advantage of early learning about sounds to scaffold lexical development. PMID:24980741

Graf Estes, Katharine



Context and repetition in word learning  

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Young children learn words from a variety of situations, including shared storybook reading. A recent study by Horst et al. (2011a) demonstrates that children learned more new words during shared storybook reading if they were read the same stories repeatedly than if they were read different stories that had the same number of target words. The current paper reviews this study and further examines the effect of contextual repetition on children's word learning in both shared storybook reading...

Horst, Jessica S.



Word Learning Deficit among Chinese Dyslexic Children (United States)

The present study examined word learning difficulties in Chinese dyslexic children, readers of a nonalphabetic script. A total of 105 Hong Kong Chinese children were recruited and divided into three groups: Dyslexic (mean age 8;8), CA control (mean age 8;9), and RL control (mean age 6;11). They were given a word learning task and a familiar word

Ho, Connie Suk-Han; Chan, David W.; Tsang, Suk-Man; Lee, Suk-Han; Chung, Kevin K. H.



Ambiguous Words Are Harder to Learn (United States)

Relatively little is known about the role of ambiguity in adult second-language learning. In this study, native English speakers learned Dutch-English translation pairs that either mapped in a one-to-one fashion (unambiguous items) in that a Dutch word uniquely corresponded to one English word, or mapped in a one-to-many fashion (ambiguous items),…

Degani, Tamar; Tokowicz, Natasha



Exclusion Constraints Facilitate Statistical Word Learning (United States)

The roles of linguistic, cognitive, and social-pragmatic processes in word learning are well established. If statistical mechanisms also contribute to word learning, they must interact with these processes; however, there exists little evidence for such mechanistic synergy. Adults use co-occurrence statistics to encode speech-object pairings with…

Yoshida, Katherine; Rhemtulla, Mijke; Vouloumanos, Athena



Learning to use words: Event related potentials index single-shot contextual word learning  

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Humans have the remarkable capacity to learn words from a single instance. The goal of this study was to examine the impact of initial learning context on the understanding of novel word usage using event related brain potentials. Participants saw known and unknown words in strongly or weakly constraining sentence contexts. After each sentence context, word usage knowledge was assessed via plausibility ratings of these words as the objects of transitive verbs. Plausibility effects were observ...

Borovsky, Arielle; Kutas, Marta; Elman, Jeff



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...DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Early Learning AGENCY: Office of...Secretary, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice of...Learning about Early Learning--Public Input Meetings...S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland...



Learning to Use Words: Event-Related Potentials Index Single-Shot Contextual Word Learning (United States)

Humans have the remarkable capacity to learn words from a single instance. The goal of this study was to examine the impact of initial learning context on the understanding of novel word usage using event-related brain potentials. Participants saw known and unknown words in strongly or weakly constraining sentence contexts. After each sentence…

Borovsky, Arielle; Kutas, Marta; Elman, Jeff



Context and Repetition in Word Learning  

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Full Text Available Young children learn words from a variety of situations, including shared storybook reading. A recent study by Horst et al., (2011 demonstrates that children learned more new words during shared storybook reading if they were read the same stories repeatedly than if they were read different stories that had the same number of target words. The current paper reviews this study and further examines the effect of contextual repetition on children’s word learning in both shared storybook reading and other situations, including fast mapping by mutual exclusivity. The studies reviewed here suggest that the same cognitive mechanisms support word learning in a variety of situations. Both practical considerations for experimental design and directions for future research are discussed.




Do preschool children learn to read words from environmental prints? (United States)

Parents and teachers worldwide believe that a visual environment rich with print can contribute to young children's literacy. Children seem to recognize words in familiar logos at an early age. However, most of previous studies were carried out with alphabetic scripts. Alphabetic letters regularly correspond to phonological segments in a word and provide strong cues about the identity of the whole word. Thus it was not clear whether children can learn to read words by extracting visual word form information from environmental prints. To exclude the phonological-cue confound, this study tested children's knowledge of Chinese words embedded in familiar logos. The four environmental logos were employed and transformed into four versions with the contextual cues (i.e., something apart from the presentation of the words themselves in logo format like the color, logo and font type cues) gradually minimized. Children aged from 3 to 5 were tested. We observed that children of different ages all performed better when words were presented in highly familiar logos compared to when they were presented in a plain fashion, devoid of context. This advantage for familiar logos was also present when the contextual information was only partial. However, the role of various cues in learning words changed with age. The color and logo cues had a larger effect in 3- and 4- year-olds than in 5-year-olds, while the font type cue played a greater role in 5-year-olds than in the other two groups. Our findings demonstrated that young children did not easily learn words by extracting their visual form information even from familiar environmental prints. However, children aged 5 begin to pay more attention to the visual form information of words in highly familiar logos than those aged 3 and 4. PMID:24465677

Zhao, Jing; Zhao, Pei; Weng, Xuchu; Li, Su



Young Children's Use of Contrast in Word Learning: The Case of Proper Names (United States)

Recent research has established that contrast can exert a powerful effect on early word learning. This study examined the role of contrast in young children's ability to learn proper names. Preschoolers heard a novel word for an unfamiliar stuffed animal in the presence of a second stuffed animal of either the same or a different kind.…

Hall, D. Geoffrey; Rhemtulla, Mijke



The Role of Children's Phonological and Semantic Knowledge in Learning to Read Words (United States)

The effect of phonology and semantics on word learning in 5- and 6-year-old children was explored. In Experiment 1, children learned to read words varying in spelling-sound consistency and imageability. Consistency affected performance on early trials, whereas imageability affected performance on later trials. Individual differences among children…

Duff, Fiona J.; Hulme, Charles



Learning Words through Multimedia Application : A Study of Implicit Learning in Chinese Words  

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  This study explores the relevance of multimedia application in relation to vocabulary acquisition in the classroom of Chinese as a foreign language. The herein depicted application refers to the computer-assisted implicit word-learning, wherein the Danish students built hypertexts to acquire meanings of unknown words aiming to research and to enlarging Chinese vocabulary.  

Zhang, Chun



Unconventional Word Segmentation in Brazilian Children's Early Text Production (United States)

An important element of learning to read and write at school is the ability to define word boundaries. Defining word boundaries in text writing is not a straightforward task even for children who have mastered graphophonemic correspondences. In children's writing, unconventional word segmentation has been observed across a range of languages and…

Correa, Jane; Dockrell, Julie E.



Object Familiarity Facilitates Foreign Word Learning in Preschoolers (United States)

Studying how children learn words in a foreign language can shed light on how language learning changes with development. In one experiment, we examined whether three-, four-, and five-year-olds could learn and remember words for familiar and unfamiliar objects in their native English and a foreign language. All age groups could learn and remember…

Sera, Maria D.; Cole, Caitlin A.; Oromendia, Mercedes; Koenig, Melissa A.



Effects of instruction on deriving word meaning from context and incidental word learning  

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Full Text Available The effect of instruction on deriving word meaning from written context and incidental word learning was assessed in a randomised experiment. The experimental programme, based on the direct instruction of a strategy, produced neither a significant improvement of the skill of deriving word meaning from context, nor did the incidental word learning rate of the fourth grade, below-average readers increase. An effect of instruction on the skill of deriving word meaning from context and incidental word learning has historically been difficult to achieve; hence, an effect on vocabulary growth in the long run seems premature at this stage.

Fukkink, R.G.



Brain activation and lexical learning: the impact of learning phase and word type. (United States)

This study investigated the neural correlates of second-language lexical acquisition in terms of learning phase and word type. Ten French-speaking participants learned 80 Spanish words-40 cognates, 40 non-cognates-by means of a computer program. The learning process included the early learning phase, which comprised 5 days, and the consolidation phase, which lasted 2 weeks. After each phase, participants performed an overt naming task during an er-fMRI scan. Naming accuracy was better for cognates during the early learning phase only. However, cognates were named faster than non-cognates during both phases. The early learning phase was characterized by activations in the left iFG and Broca's area, which were associated with effortful lexical retrieval and phonological processing, respectively. Further, the activation in the left ACC and DLPFC suggested that monitoring may be involved during the early phases of lexical learning. During the consolidation phase, the activation in the left premotor cortex, the right supramarginal gyrus and the cerebellum indicated that articulatory planning may contribute to the consolidation of second-language phonetic representations. No dissociation between word type and learning phase could be supported. However, a Fisher r-to-z test showed that successful cognate retrieval was associated with activations in Broca's area, which could reflect the adaptation of known L1 phonological sequences. Moreover, successful retrieval of non-cognates was associated with activity in the anterior-medial left fusiform and right posterior cingulate cortices, suggesting that their successful retrieval may rely upon the access to semantic and lexical information, and even on the greater likelihood of errors. PMID:19837173

Raboyeau, G; Marcotte, K; Adrover-Roig, D; Ansaldo, A I



Learning New Words Affects Nonword Pronunciation in Children (United States)

In two experiments we examined how children's nonword pronunciations are influenced by learning words. In Experiment 1, children pronounced nonwords before and after learning words sharing orthographic rimes with the nonwords. These rimes varied in spelling-to-sound consistency and regularity. Children's nonword pronunciations were more sensitive…

Khanna, Maya M.; Cortese, Michael J.; Birchwood, Katharine S.



Oral Definitions of Newly Learned Words: An Error Analysis (United States)

This study examined and compared patterns of errors in the oral definitions of newly learned words. Fifteen 9- to 11-year-old children with language learning disability (LLD) and 15 typically developing age-matched peers inferred the meanings of 20 nonsense words from four novel reading passages. After reading, children provided oral definitions…

Steele, Sara C.



Children's learning of number words in an indigenous farming-foraging group. (United States)

We show that children in the Tsimane', a farming-foraging group in the Bolivian rain-forest, learn number words along a similar developmental trajectory to children from industrialized countries. Tsimane' children successively acquire the first three or four number words before fully learning how counting works. However, their learning is substantially delayed relative to children from the United States, Russia, and Japan. The presence of a similar developmental trajectory likely indicates that the incremental stages of numerical knowledge - but not their timing - reflect a fundamental property of number concept acquisition which is relatively independent of language, culture, age, and early education. PMID:24766463

Piantadosi, Steven T; Jara-Ettinger, Julian; Gibson, Edward



Rapid word learning under uncertainty via cross-situational statistics. (United States)

There are an infinite number of possible word-to-word pairings in naturalistic learning environments. Previous proposals to solve this mapping problem have focused on linguistic, social, representational, and attentional constraints at a single moment. This article discusses a cross-situational learning strategy based on computing distributional statistics across words, across referents, and, most important, across the co-occurrences of words and referents at multiple moments. We briefly exposed adults to a set of trials that each contained multiple spoken words and multiple pictures of individual objects; no information about word-picture correspondences was given within a trial. Nonetheless, over trials, subjects learned the word-picture mappings through cross-trial statistical relations. Different learning conditions varied the degree of within-trial reference uncertainty, the number of trials, and the length of trials. Overall, the remarkable performance of learners in various learning conditions suggests that they calculate cross-trial statistics with sufficient fidelity and by doing so rapidly learn word-referent pairs even in highly ambiguous learning contexts. PMID:17576281

Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B



Is Overt Repetition Critical to Expressive Word Learning? The Role of Overt Repetition in Word Learning with and without Semantics (United States)

Five experiments examined whether overt repetition (i.e., saying a word aloud) during exposure is critical to the expressive learning of new words. When participants did not engage in overt repetition during exposure, they nevertheless exhibited clear expressive learning, both with and without an accompanying semantics, indicating that overt…

Abbs, Brandon; Gupta, Prahlad; Khetarpal, Naveen



Electroencephalographic Coherence and Learning: Distinct Patterns of Change during Word Learning and Figure Learning Tasks (United States)

One likely mechanism in learning new skills is change in synchronous connections between distributed neural networks, which can be measured by coherence analysis of electroencephalographic patterns. This study examined coherence changes during the learning of two tasks, a word association task and a figure association task. Although learning

Collins, Peter; Hogan, Michael; Kilmartin, Liam; Keane, Michael; Kaiser, Jochen; Fischer, Kurt



Fine neural tuning for orthographic properties of words emerges early in children reading alphabetic script. (United States)

The left-lateralized N170 component of ERPs for words compared with various control stimuli is considered as an electrophysiological manifestation of visual expertise for written words. To understand the information sensitivity of the effect, researchers distinguish between coarse tuning for words (the N170 amplitude difference between words and symbol strings) and fine tuning for words (the N170 amplitude difference between words and consonant strings). Earlier developmental ERP studies demonstrated that the coarse tuning for words occurred early in children (8 years old), whereas the fine tuning for words emerged much later (10 years old). Given that there are large individual differences in reading ability in young children, these tuning effects may emerge earlier than expected in some children. This study measured N170 responses to words and control stimuli in a large group of 7-year-olds that varied widely in reading ability. In both low and high reading ability groups, we observed the coarse neural tuning for words. More interestingly, we found that a stronger N170 for words than consonant strings emerged in children with high but not low reading ability. Our study demonstrates for the first time that fine neural tuning for orthographic properties of words can be observed in young children with high reading ability, suggesting that the emergent age of this effect is much earlier than previously assumed. The modulation of this effect by reading ability suggests that fine tuning is flexible and highly related to experience. Moreover, we found a correlation between this tuning effect at left occipitotemporal electrodes and children's reading ability, suggesting that the fine tuning might be a biomarker of reading skills at the very beginning of learning to read. PMID:24800627

Zhao, Jing; Kipp, Kerstin; Gaspar, Carl; Maurer, Urs; Weng, Xuchu; Mecklinger, Axel; Li, Su



Effects of Learning Method and Word Type on Acquiring Vocabulary in an Unfamiliar Language. (United States)

Examined the roles of learning method, word frequency, and cognate status in the learning of 80 Italian words by 56 adult Dutch learners previously unfamiliar with Italian. Two learning methods were contrasted: word learning, where the Italian word was presented with its translation in Dutch, and picture learning, where it was presented with a…

Lotto, Lorella; de Groot, M. B.



Drawings and Dialogue: Word Solving in Early Literacy (United States)

Envisioning oneself as a competent reader is an important first step to reading well. This article describes an intervention that employs drawings coupled with teacher-student dialogue, which sets the stage for strategy learning as a key to word-solving. A process for the interventionist, Title I or any teacher working with students who find…

Zimmerman, Belinda S.



Learning and retention in preclinical and early Alzheimer's disease. (United States)

Accelerated forgetting has been proposed as the first sign in preclinical and early Alzheimer's disease (AD). The authors investigated learning and retention in participants who later developed AD with free and cued selective reminding (FCSR; H. Buschke, 1984; E. Grober & H. Buschke, 1987), a test that maximizes learning by inducing deep semantic processing and by controlling study and test conditions. AD patients in the preclinical stage recalled significantly fewer words than did matched control participants, indicating an impairment of learning; nonetheless, patients' retention was identical to that of control participants. A retention deficit was documented 3 years later for AD patients but not for control participants, whose retention was still perfect. Thus, a retention deficit is not present in preclinical AD when hallmark learning deficits can be documented. Detection of preclinical and very early AD may be best accomplished by using robust learning tests that control cognitive processing. PMID:9100279

Grober, E; Kawas, C



Word 2010 eLearning Kit For Dummies  

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Use this step-by-step learning package to master Word 2010 Word 2010 is one of the core applications of Microsoft Office and if you're eager to get started using all it has to offer, this value-packed eLearning Kit is essential to your learning process. This complete Word 2010 course includes a full-color printed book and a Dummies interactive eLearning course on CD. You'll discover the basics of the Word interface, how to navigate it, how to get comfortable with the terminology, and how to use its many features. Detailed instructions walk you through real-world exercises and help to make lear

Lowe, Lois



Learning to Shift the Polarity of Words for Sentiment Classification (United States)

We propose a machine learning based method of sentiment classification of sentences using word-level polarity. The polarities of words in a sentence are not always the same as that of the sentence, because there can be polarity-shifters such as negation expressions. The proposed method models the polarity-shifters. Our model can be trained in two different ways: word-wise and sentence-wise learning. In sentence-wise learning, the model can be trained so that the prediction of sentence polarities should be accurate. The model can also combined with features used in previous work such as bag-of-words and n-grams. We empirically show that our method improves the performance of sentiment classification of sentences especially when we have only small amount of training data.

Ikeda, Daisuke; Takamura, Hiroya; Okumura, Manabu


Flooding Vocabulary Gaps to Accelerate Word Learning (United States)

Students entering school with limited vocabularies are at a disadvantage compared to classmates with robust knowledge of words and meanings. Teaching a few unrelated words at a time is insufficient for catching these students up with peers and preparing them to comprehend texts they will encounter across the grades. This article presents…

Brabham, Edna; Buskist, Connie; Henderson, Shannon Coman; Paleologos, Timon; Baugh, Nikki



Cross-situational word learning is both implicit and strategic  

Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

Full Text Available For decades, implicit learning researchers have examined a variety of cognitive tasks in which people seem to automatically extract structure from the environment. Similarly, recent statistical learning studies have shown that people can learn word-object mappings from the repeated co-occurrence of words and objects in individually ambiguous situations. In light of this, the goal of the present paper is to investigate whether adult cross-situational learners require an explicit effort to learn word-object mappings, or if it may take place incidentally, only requiring attention to the stimuli. In two implicit learning experiments with incidental tasks directing participants' attention to different aspects of the stimuli, we found evidence of learning, suggesting that cross-situational learning mechanisms can operate incidentally, without explicit effort. However, performance was superior under explicit study instructions, indicating that strategic processes also play a role. Moreover, performance under instruction to learn word meanings did not differ from performance at counting co-occurrences, which may indicate these tasks engage similar strategies.




Baby Steps: Learn the Signs. Act Early  

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Full Text Available ... 2008 Early recognition of developmental disabilities such as autism is key for parents and providers. CDC realized ... act. More Information Learn the Signs. Act Early Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) Child Development Downloads Read the ...


Yearning for Words, Learning With Words: Poetic Ruminations  

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Full Text Available As a poet I am always seeking ecological interconnections amidst body, brain, language, knowing, mind, consciousness, education, imagination, heart, cognition, and spirit. In language play I hope to find my way to a purposeful pedagogy that acknowledges and honours how learning is always a holistic adventure in process and flux, an adventure of human becoming filled with wonder and mystery beyond the counting, but always abundantly available for courting with wild delight and desire.

Carl Leggo



Context Variation and Definitions in Learning the Meanings of Words: An Instance-Based Learning Approach (United States)

This article proposes an instance-based theoretical framework to account for the influence of both contexts and definitions on learning new word meanings and reports 2 studies that examine hypotheses about learning from context. One is that variation in contexts is important for allowing core meaning features of a word to emerge. The second is…

Bolger, Donald J.; Balass, Michal; Landen, Eve; Perfetti, Charles A.



Early Childhood Systems: Transforming Early Learning (United States)

In this seminal volume, leading authorities strategize about how to create early childhood systems that transcend politics and economics to serve the needs of all young children. The authors offer different interpretations of the nature of early childhood systems, discuss the elements necessary to support their development, and examine how…

Kagan, Sharon Lynn, Ed.; Kauertz, Kristie, Ed.



Reinforcement and inference in cross-situational word learning  

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Full Text Available Cross-situational word learning is based on the notion that a learner can determine the referent of a word by finding something in common across many observed uses of that word. Here we propose an adaptive learning algorithm that contains a parameter that controls the strength of the reinforcement applied to associations between concurrent words and referents, and a parameter that regulates inference, which includes built-in biases, such as mutual exclusivity, and information of past learning events. By adjusting these parameters so that the model predictions agree with data from representative experiments on cross-situational word learning, we were able to explain the learning strategies adopted by the participants of those experiments in terms of a trade-off between reinforcement and inference. These strategies can vary wildly depending on the conditions of the experiments. For instance, for fast mapping experiments (i.e., the correct referent could, in principle, be inferred in a single observation inference is prevalent, whereas for segregated contextual diversity experiments (i.e., the referents are separated in groups and are exhibited with members of their groups only reinforcement is predominant. Other experiments are explained with more balanced doses of reinforcement and inference.




Why word learning is not fast  

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Full Text Available Upon fast mapping, children rarely retain new words even over intervals as short as five minutes. In this study, we asked whether the memory process of encoding or consolidation is the bottleneck to retention. Forty-nine children, mean age 33 months, were exposed to eight 2-or-3-syllable nonce neighbors of words in their existing lexicons. Didactic training consisted of six exposures to each word in the context of its referent, an unfamiliar toy. Productions were elicited four times: immediately following the examiner’s model, and at 1-minute-, 5-minute-, and multiday retention intervals. At the final two intervals, the examiner said the first syllable and provided a beat gesture highlighting target word length in syllables as a cue following any erred production. The children were highly accurate at immediate posttest. Accuracy fell sharply over the 1-minute retention interval and again after an additional 5 minutes. Performance then stabilized such that the 5-minute and multiday posttests yielded comparable performance. Given this time course, we conclude that it was not the post-encoding process of consolidation but the process of encoding itself that presented the primary bottleneck to retention. Patterns of errors and responses to cueing upon error suggested that word forms were particularly vulnerable to partial decay during the time course of encoding.




Reforming Ontario Early Learning: A Review (United States)

Herein, we address the reformation of Ontario early learning. Over the next 3 years, all 4- and 5-year-olds in Ontario (Canada) will be able to attend full-day early learning with child care, before and after school provided by the Government of Ontario Ministry of Education. The benefits of such a change are both academic and societal and are…

Ryan, Thomas; Date, Gavin



Distinct neural specializations for learning to read words and name objects. (United States)

Understanding the neural systems that underpin reading acquisition is key if neuroscientific findings are to inform educational practice. We provide a unique window into these systems by teaching 19 adults to read 24 novel words written in unfamiliar letters and to name 24 novel objects while in an MRI scanner. Behavioral performance on trained items was equivalent for the two stimulus types. However, componential letter-sound associations were extracted when learning to read, as shown by correct reading of untrained words, whereas object-name associations were holistic and arbitrary. Activity in bilateral anterior fusiform gyri was greater during object name learning than learning to read, and ROI analyses indicated that left mid-fusiform activity was predictive of success in object name learning but not in learning to read. In contrast, activity in bilateral parietal cortices was predictive of success for both stimulus types but was greater during learning and recall of written word pronunciations relative to object names. We argue that mid-to-anterior fusiform gyri preferentially process whole items and contribute to learning their spoken form associations, processes that are required for skilled reading. In contrast, parietal cortices preferentially process componential visual-verbal mappings, a process that is crucial for early reading development. PMID:24666161

Taylor, J S H; Rastle, Kathleen; Davis, Matthew H



Deep generative learning of location-invariant visual word recognition  

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Full Text Available It is widely believed that orthographic processing implies an approximate, flexible coding of letter position, as shown by relative-position and transposition priming effects in visual word recognition. These findings have inspired alternative proposals about the representation of letter position, ranging from noisy coding across the ordinal positions to relative position coding based on open bigrams. This debate can be cast within the broader problem of learning location-invariant representations of written words, that is, a coding scheme abstracting the identity and position of letters (and combinations of letters from their eye-centred (i.e., retinal locations. We asked whether location-invariance would emerge from deep unsupervised learning on letter strings and what type of intermediate coding would emerge in the resulting hierarchical generative model. We trained a deep network with three hidden layers on an artificial dataset of letter strings presented at five possible retinal locations. Though word-level information (i.e., word identity was never provided to the network during training, linear decoding from the activity of the deepest hidden layer yielded near-perfect accuracy in location-invariant word recognition. Conversely, decoding from lower layers yielded a large number of transposition errors. Analyses of emergent internal representations showed that word selectivity and location invariance increased as a function of layer depth. Conversely, there was no evidence for bigram coding. Finally, the distributed internal representation of words at the deepest layer showed higher similarity to the representation elicited by the two exterior letters than by other combinations of two contiguous letters, in agreement with the hypothesis that word edges have special status. These results reveal that the efficient coding of written words – which was the model’s learning objective – is largely based on letter-level information.

Maria GraziaDi Bono



Highlighting: A mechanism relevant for word learning  

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Full Text Available What we attend to at any moment determines what we learn at that moment, and this also depends on our past learning. This focused conceptual paper concentrates on a single well-documented attention mechanism—highlighting. This phenomenon—well studied in nonlinguistic but not in linguistic contexts—should be highly relevant to language learning because it is a process that (1 specifically protects past learning from being disrupted by new (and potentially spurious associations in the learning environment, and (2 strongly constrains new learning to new information. Within the language-learning context, highlighting may disambiguate ambiguous references and may be related to processes of lexical competition that are known to be critical to on-line sentence comprehension. The main sections of the paper will address (1 the highlighting phenomenon in the literature; (2 its relevancy to language learning; (3 the highlighting effect in children; (4 developmental studies concerning the effect in different contexts; and (5 a developmental mechanism for highlighting in language learning.




Conceptual Information Permeates Word Learning in Infancy (United States)

Three experiments document that conceptual knowledge influences lexical acquisition in infancy. A novel target object was initially labeled with a novel word. In both yes-no (Experiment 1) and forced-choice (Experiment 2) tasks, 2-year-olds' subsequent extensions were mediated by the conceptual description of the targets. When targets were…

Booth, Amy E.; Waxman, Sandra R.; Huang, Yi Ting



The Semiotics of Learning New Words (United States)

In several of his papers, Charles S. Peirce illustrates processes of interpreting and understanding signs by examples from second language vocabulary teaching and learning. The insights conveyed by means of these little pedagogical scenarios are not meant as contributions to the psychology of second language learning, but they aim at elucidating…

Nöth, Winfried



The Framework for Early Learning: a Background Paper:Children's Early Learning and Development Executive Summary  

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This is the Executive Summary of the background paper Children’s early learning and development, sets out the theory and research underpinning children’s early learning and development in the Framework for Early Learning. The paper essentially responds to the question - how should we envision and understand the child as a young learner? The paper begins by outlining the context for early childhood care and education in Ireland by referring to our economic and social climate, the increasin...

French, Geraldine M.



What Is Hard To Learn Is Easy To Forget: The Roles of Word Concreteness, Cognate Status, and Word Frequency in Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning and Forgetting. (United States)

Looked at the foreign language vocabulary learning and forgetting in experienced foreign language learners, using a paired-associate training technique in which native-language words were paired with pseudowords. Cognates and concrete words were easier to learn and less susceptible to forgetting than noncognates and abstract words. (Author/VWL)

de Groot, Annette M. B.; Keijzer, Rineke



Japanese Language Students' Perceptions on "Kanji" Learning and Their Relationship to Novel "Kanji" Word Learning Ability (United States)

This study examines the relationship between how learners of Japanese as a second language perceive the learning of "kanji" (i.e., the logographic characters shared with Chinese) and their ability to learn novel "kanji" words using morphological and contextual information. Eighty college students learning Japanese as a foreign language completed a…

Mori, Yoshiko; Sato, Kumi; Shimizu, Hideko



Sound Symbolism Facilitates Early Verb Learning (United States)

Some words are sound-symbolic in that they involve a non-arbitrary relationship between sound and meaning. Here, we report that 25-month-old children are sensitive to cross-linguistically valid sound-symbolic matches in the domain of action and that this sound symbolism facilitates verb learning in young children. We constructed a set of novel…

Imai, Mutsumi; Kita, Sotaro; Nagumo, Miho; Okada, Hiroyuki



Modularity in inductively-learned word pronunciation systems  

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In leading morpho-phonological theories and state-of-the-art text-to-speech systems it is assumed that word pronunciation cannot be learned or performed without in-between analyses at several abstraction levels (e.g., morphological, graphemic, phonemic, syllabic, and stress levels). We challenge this assumption for the case of English word pronunciation. Using IGTree, an inductive-learning decision-tree algorithms, we train and test three word-pronunciation systems in which the number of abstraction levels (implemented as sequenced modules) is reduced from five, via three, to one. The latter system, classifying letter strings directly as mapping to phonemes with stress markers, yields significantly better generalisation accuracies than the two multi-module systems. Analyses of empirical results indicate that positive utility effects of sequencing modules are outweighed by cascading errors passed on between modules.

Van den Bosch, A; Daelemans, W; Bosch, Antal van den; Weijters, Ton; Daelemans, Walter



Preschoolers Use Information about Speakers' Desires to Learn New Words (United States)

This research investigates preschoolers' use of desires for word learning. Three-year-old children were shown pairs of novel toys and were asked about their own desire and told about a researcher's desire. For half of the children the researcher liked the same object they did and for the other half the researcher liked a different object. The…

Saylor, Megan M.; Troseth, Georgene L.




Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

Full Text Available One of the genuine contributions of theoretical linguistics to the interdisciplinary field of applied linguistics is to elucidate the nature of what should be taught and how it should be taught. Traditionally, the input supplied in vocabulary teaching has consisted either of word lists (most often or of words-in-context (more recently. In the first case, words are treated as self-contained receptacles of meaning, and in the second case, they are considered as nodes of semantic relationships. However, recent directions in corpus-driven lexicology are exploring the gulf between the concept of a “word” and that of a “semantic unit”. The main purpose of this paper is to update some implications of this discussion for one of the applied disciplines, namely FL/L2 vocabulary teaching and learning.

Moisés Almela



Baby Steps: Learn the Signs. Act Early  

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