Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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In this article a model of foreign (L2) vocabulary learning is first developed in which the representation of the spelling, the pronunciation and the meaning(s) of a word are stored in their respective networks. Vocabulary learning in a paired associate learning task is then defined as the building of nodes in a network and as the establishing of an associative pathway between each new node (representing the spelling, pronunciation or meaning(s) of a newly learned L2 word) and the corresponding node for its L1 equivalent. In this model differences in spelling or pronunciation between L2 words and their L1 translations are expressed in terms of differences in length of their associative pathways.On the basis of the above distinctions a prediction was made about a difference in input speed and in the period of retrievability between two kinds of Arabic- Dutch word pairs. It was predicted that word pairs sharing some phonemic features would be learned sooner and remembered longer than those without any of these features in common.The above prediction was confirmed in a group experiment. Moreover, it showed that a resemblance between L2-L1 word pairs had a greater effect on retrievability than on input speed. Finally, the diverging results for one of the testwords were interpreted as indicating that also in associate learning of L2-L1 pairs the semantic category to which that word belonged had played its part. Its abstract meaning was assumed to have negatively affected the time needed to store the word in memory.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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