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Learning French: The Role of Practice in Learning a Second Language

Learning French: The Role of Practice in Learning a Second Language

Name:
Bethany Howard

Department:
Communication Sciences and Disorders

Abstract:
An important issue that has yet to be systematically studied is the practice principles involved in efficient learning of a second language. The majority of research in this area has been focused on simple motor task learning, neglecting more complex cognitive tasks such as speech (Kim, LaPointe, & Stierwalt, 2012). While this research often points to distributed practice as most effective, it is unclear if these results can be generalized to speech learning tasks (Donovan & Radosevich, 1999). One school of thought proposes spacing out practice sessions is more effective for the learner, while another encourages cramming as the most efficient practice type. Practice that is too spaced apart could lead to under learning, while cramming may lead to participant fatigue and speech quality degradation. To address this limitation the current study investigated the effectiveness of practice distribution in learning novel French utterances.