Second language vocabulary acquisition: spacing and frequency of rehearsals




Weimer-Stuckmann, Gerlinde

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The theories of spaced rehearsal have established recurring encounters as a key aspect in vocabulary retention. However, how and how often these review sessions should be scheduled is still a controversial debate. This study reports on a large-scale study at the University of Victoria in the fall of 2008 on Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition (SLVA). Over a period of 13 weeks 117 students practiced 200 German lexical items using a multimodal vocabulary learning web application and research tool ViVo. First, this study contrasted the rehearsal conditions of graduated intervals and uniform spaced intervals studied in 5 practice sessions. Second, it contrasted frequency test conditions. Students who had practiced 2 or 3 times were compared to students who had practiced 4 or 5 times. Results showed no significant difference between uniform interval spacing and graduated interval spacing even though students studying on a uniform practice schedule demonstrated slightly higher test results. With regard to frequency, students practicing 4 or 5 times significantly outperformed those students studying only 2 or 3 times.



Second language acquisition, German language