Available Information Influences Toddlers’ Word Learning and Retention The type of verbal information available during fast mapping—young children’s ability to rapidly map new words to their referents—affects children’s ability to form and retain word-meaning associations, according to a study published March 1 in the American Journal of Speech-Lanaguage Pathology. Researchers led by Kathryn W. Brady of Southern Illinois ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   June 01, 2014
Available Information Influences Toddlers’ Word Learning and Retention
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Research in Brief   |   June 01, 2014
Available Information Influences Toddlers’ Word Learning and Retention
The ASHA Leader, June 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB5.19062014.np
The ASHA Leader, June 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB5.19062014.np
The type of verbal information available during fast mapping—young children’s ability to rapidly map new words to their referents—affects children’s ability to form and retain word-meaning associations, according to a study published March 1 in the American Journal of Speech-Lanaguage Pathology.
Researchers led by Kathryn W. Brady of Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville examined whether the type and number of word-learning cues affect how children infer and retain word-meaning mappings—and whether the use of these cues changes with age.
Forty-eight 18- to 36-month-old children with typical English language skills (27 male, 21 female) participated in the authors’ fast-mapping task. The researchers presented six novel words with three cue types to the words’ referents, either singly or in pairs. One day later, they tested the children for retention of novel words.
The children 24 months of age and older correctly inferred novel words’ referents at a significant level, and retained the first three of six word-meaning mappings. Children ages 30 months and older retained word meanings at a significant rate. For both word learning and retention, the effectiveness of different cue types changed with development, but not the number of cues needed—children were equally successful whether the authors presented novel words with one or two cues. Providing children with more information in the form of paired cues had no effect on either fast mapping or retention.
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June 2014
Volume 19, Issue 6