01/03/2016 Linguistics Psychology
DOI: 10.1111/LANG.12142 SemanticScholar ID: 59520781 MAG: 1954301843

Acquisition of second language grammar under incidental learning conditions: The role of frequency and working memory

Publication Summary

Although frequency is recognized as an important factor in second language (L2) acquisition, it has remained relatively under-investigated in terms of its impact on the acquisition of grammatical knowledge under incidental learning conditions. This article reports the results of an experiment where 100 novice adult learners were exposed to a complex noun-adjective agreement pattern in Russian under four incidental learning conditions in which type and token frequency of the stimuli were manipulated. The results show that accuracy was greater in the low type/low token condition and that low token frequency played a more significant role than low type frequency, supporting a “starting small” approach for productive knowledge acquisition. Working memory was differentially involved in production of acquired knowledge in different conditions and not engaged when learning was facilitated by frequency.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Ludovica Serratrice

Prof. Ludovica Serratrice

Reading University - Professor of multilingualism

Share this

Next publication

2009 Psychology

The Dynamics of Category Conjunctions

R. Hutter, R. Crisp, G. Humphreys, Gillian. M. Waters + 1 more