CONGRATULATIONS to PhD Candidate Maya Rose for successfully defending her Level II pilot study titled: Does Speaking Improve Comprehension of Turkish as a Foreign Language? A Computer-Assisted Language Learning Study.
Stay tuned for updates on the Computer-Assisted Language Learning Study!
Adults find learning foreign languages to be difficult, yet show remarkable individual differences in learning outcomes. The factors that account for this variability have not been adequately explained. This pilot study explored whether retrieval practice for learning extends to foreign language comprehension among adults at beginning stages of second language learning. Using a computer-assisted language learning protocol, we presented college students with Turkish dialogues paired with corresponding pictures. The sentences exemplified features of Turkish nominal morphology, including number and case marking and allomorphic variation in suffixes. Learning tasks varied by experimental conditions between participants: 1) comprehension only (selecting pictures that match answers to questions), 2) comprehension and verbal repetition (repeating answers to questions), 3) comprehension, verbal repetition, and retrieval (generating spoken sentences in response to questions). All groups completed an identical comprehension pre- and posttest and a vocabulary recall test. After training, generalization to novel noun forms (dependent variable) was assessed through a comprehension posttest. Language learning aptitude was assessed via declarative memory, nonverbal intelligence, and working memory tasks. Results showed that although participants in conditions one and three outperformed those in condition two, fluid intelligence ability predicted generalization to novel noun forms over and above learning condition. Given the pilot results and implications concerning feasibility, recommendations for subsequent studies are discussed.
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