Academic journal article Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology

Effect of Repeated Testing to the Development of Vocabulary, Nominal Structures and Verbal Morphology

Academic journal article Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology

Effect of Repeated Testing to the Development of Vocabulary, Nominal Structures and Verbal Morphology

Article excerpt


The repeating testing has shown to increase the general proficiency level of the students. Metsämuuronen (2013) showed with an experimental study that the overall achievement level in a secondary language enhanced statistically significantly whit repeated testing design. Previously, Tuvling (1967) and Karpicke & Roediger (2008) showed with a laboratory experiment that remembering the material studied is the most efficient with repeated testing sessions rather than with repeated studying sessions. An explanation for this, given by Lasry, Levy and Tremblay (2008), is that the repeated testing leads to multiple traces to the memory, which optimizes recall. This study concentrates on the increase in the proficiency level in Vocabulary, Nominal structures and Verbal Morphology after the set of exhaustive testing sessions. It also reviles change in the proficiency levels of the students in these areas during the study process. The experimental group gained more than the control group in all areas though the difference is statistically significant only in the content of Vocabulary. The effect sizes are high (Cohen's d > 1.0). In all areas of interest, the learning curve was of wide U-shape after the elementary period of studies.

Keywords: language testing, L2; IRT modeling, Experimental Study, matched-pairs, longitudinal research

1. Introduction

Almost 60 years, from Miller (1956), Broadbent (1958) and Neisser (1967), the computational principles of human brains have interested the scientists. Intense research efforts have been targeted at revealing the organization of human memory systems (see Squire, 2009; Conway et al., 2005; Conway et al., 2003; Engle, 2002; Poldrack & Packard, 2003; Baddeley; 2000) and development of language (see Jay, 2003; Harley, 2001; Whitney, 1998; Carrol, 1994).

According to the basic theories of human mind (see Squire, 2009), the human long-term memory comes in two flavours: declarative and procedural (or non-declarative) memory. As the name suggests, declarative memory refers to things and facts that can be declared and explicitly stated by brought them to mind whereas the contents of the procedural memory cannot be put into words; this includes the motor- and cognitive skills and habits (Squire, 2009; Ullman, 2004; Poldrack & Packard, 2002). The declarative memory can be divided into semantic and episodic (or narrative) memory (see Bruner, 1986; 1990; 1996; Tulving, 1983). The semantic memory is thought to be independent of the personal history and the identity of the person whereas the episodic memory consists of a store of personal actions, memories, and happenings (Tulving, 1983). Further, an influential view claims that there are separate subsystems for phonological and visual-spatial short-term memory and that these form a part of the working memory system, which is needed for selecting, from the environment and long-term memory, information appropriate for fulfilling the person's current goal (Baddeley, 1998; for the theories of working memory, see Miyake & Shah, 1999).

Cognitive psychologists have found several ways that the nature of memory encoding affects the later retention of memories. It has been noted that if the to-be-learned material is connected with previous knowledge of the topic and elaborated with imagery and stories rather than processed in a superficial way (for instance, concentrating on the letters of the words to be remembered), it will be retained better (Levels-of-processing view, Lockhart & Craik, 1990; Craik & Lockhart, 1972). These effects are, however, mediated by the sameness of the type of processing and encoding - practically speaking, if an association between words is encoded by rhyming the words, recall will be better following the rhyming task than a semantic task - and vice versa (transfer appropriate processing, Morris, Bransford & Franks, 1977). It has been shown that, at the time of memory encoding, the context, that is, surroundings (Godden & Baddeley, 1975), physiological state (Eich, 1980), and mood (Eich & Metcalfe, 1989) affect the later recall. …

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