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Vocabulary retention in a spaced repetition longitudinal field study with high-school language learners / Miguel A. Varela

DOI (Published version): 10.23889/Suthesis.53503

Abstract

Despite a large amount of research on spaced repetition in L2 courses to retainvocabulary over time, we still do not see its full implementation in everydayclassrooms. Laboratory and field studies (on spaced repetition) have worked withparticipants of different ages and have demonstrated that inform...

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Published: Swansea 2020
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa53503
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Abstract: Despite a large amount of research on spaced repetition in L2 courses to retainvocabulary over time, we still do not see its full implementation in everydayclassrooms. Laboratory and field studies (on spaced repetition) have worked withparticipants of different ages and have demonstrated that information can be retainedover time, even after several years. Some studies introduced spaced repetition in theclassroom, but none of them integrated them fully as part of the curriculum for awhole year.This thesis describes an attempt to integrate spaced repetition in a high-schoollanguage course where students take a standard test at the end of the course. Toinvestigate the implementation of spaced repetition, a main research study wasconducted in which high-school students rehearsed 100 Spanish words every thirtydays in eleven learning sessions. Participants were tested prior and during thetreatment to monitor learning. Subjects were also tested 30, 60 and 70 days after thetreatment to test vocabulary retention.Analysis of the results revealed that spaced repetition seems to play an important rolein long-term vocabulary retention considering 70 days after the last learning sessionmost of the words were still remembered. Further analysis revealed that the highestretention scores were obtained when the interstudy interval and the retention intervalwere equal in length. A final important finding was that lack of student motivationand engagement has emerged as a crucial factor that can negatively affect learningand consequent vocabulary retention. The implications of these findings forvocabulary learning research, and for vocabulary teaching in the classroom, areconsidered.
Keywords: Vocabulary, language, repetition