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The Role of Third-party Interaction in Retaining Newly Learned Words

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2014, 27(4), pp.139-154
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science

정은주 1 Youngon Choi 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Successful word learning requires retaining a newly learned connection between the label and the referent, as well as mapping of the referent to the label. Prior research has demonstrated that unlike their impressive mapping abilities, 2-year-olds display a great deal of difficulty in retaining newly learned referent-label associations, even after a 5-minute delay between mapping and retention tasks. The present study examined whether watching adults interact with the target referent during mapping can help Korean-learning 2-year-olds to retain newly mapped words after a 5-minute delay. Eleven 2-year-olds with very low scores on an earlier retention task scored much higher in the retention test when they mapped the novel words after watching two adults interact with the referent object. Furthermore, the child’s attention level was rated higher during the mapping task with a social interaction cue than during mapping without a social cue. These results suggest that adults’ interactions with the target referent help direct and maintain the child’s attention to the target referent, and this facilitates the retention of newly mapped words among young word learners.

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