Papers We’re Reading: 2019

This is a place where members of the lab can write up short notes about the papers that they have read (and found useful).

  1. Learning Words Via Reading: Contextual Diversity, Spacing, and Retrieval Effects in Adults

New paper from and

Nice paper! Careful experimental design looking at how contextual diversity, temporal spacing, and retrieval opportunity influence adult learning of meanings of rare words (eg glaucous) during silent sentence reading. Eye-tracking measures during training and test.

Key finding: Repeated presentation of word in the SAME sentence context produces faster reading of that word during learning, but then slower reading of then target word in later, neutral test context.

Interpretation: Contextual variation during learning produces lexical representations that are either: – more context independent – of enhanced quality. Either way, the word becomes easier to identify/retrieve and integrate into new (neutral) sentence.

Key limitation: Use of repeated presentation of the same exact sentence in ‘low diversity’ is problematic –  the authors note we need complementary studies that vary contextual diversity without using verbatim repetition.