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Acquisition of second language grammar under incidental learning conditions: the role of frequency and working memory

Denhovska, N., Serratrice, L. and Payne, J. (2016) Acquisition of second language grammar under incidental learning conditions: the role of frequency and working memory. Language Learning, 66 (1). pp. 159-190. ISSN 0023-8333

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/lang.12142

Abstract/Summary

Although frequency is recognized as an important factor in second language acquisition, it has remained relatively under-investigated in terms of its impact on the acquisition of grammatical knowledge under incidental learning conditions. This article reports the results of an experiment where 100 novice adult learners were exposed to a complex noun-adjective agreement pattern in Russian under 4 incidental learning conditions where type and token frequency of the stimuli were manipulated. The results support a “starting small” approach for productive knowledge acquisition; accuracy was greater in the low-type low-token condition, and low-token frequency was more significant than low-type frequency. Working memory was differentially involved in production of acquired knowledge in different conditions and not engaged where learning was facilitated by frequency.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
ID Code:66673
Uncontrolled Keywords:implicit learning; frequency; working memory; second language; grammar; morphology
Publisher:Wiley

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