The aim of this thesis was to investigate whether particular memory strategies stemming from cognitive and educational psychology, enhance primary school vocabulary learning. Th e memory strategies investigated in this thesis were distributed practice and retrieval practice. Th e distributed practice e ect refers to the phenomenon that distributed practice is better for long term retention than massed practice. In other words, if someone has to learn new words, it is better for him to learn the words across multiple learning sessions, than to repeat them within one single learning session. Th e distributed practice eff ect has been shown in more than 300 experiments (for reviews, see e.g., Cepeda, Pashler, Vul, Wixted, & Rohrer, 2006; Delaney, Verkoeijen, & Spirgel, 2010). Th e retrieval practice e ect refers to the phenomenon that retrieval practice is better for long-term retention than restudy. Put diff erently, if someone has to learn new words, it is better for him to try to retrieve the words than to repeat them by additional study. Th e retrieval practice eff ect has been demonstrated in more than 100 experiments (for reviews, see e.g., Rawson & Dunlosky, 2011; Roediger & Butler, 2011; Roediger & Karpicke, 2006; Roediger, Putnam, & Smith, 2011). Both distributed practice and retrieval practice have been investigated many times in the laboratory, but not many times in the classroom. Th e main research questions of this thesis were as follows: (1) Is distributed practice a benefi cial memory strategy for primary school vocabulary learning? (2) Is retrieval practice a benefi cial memory strategy for primary school vocabulary learning? (3) Can these memory strategies be successfully integrated in current primary school vocabulary lessons? To answer these questions the distributed practice eff ect has been investigated in a simulated classroom setting (Chapter 2) and in a real-life classroom setting (Chapter 5). Th e retrieval practice eff ect has been investigated in a laboratory setting (Chapter 3), in a simulated classroom setting (Chapter 4), and in a real-life classroom setting (Chapter 5).

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R.A. Zwaan (Rolf)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
The research presented in this dissertation was carried out at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the context of the research school Interuniversity Center for Educational Sciences.
hdl.handle.net/1765/77635
ICO Dissertation Series
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Goossens, N.A.M.C. (2015, January 22). Distributed Practice and Retrieval Practice in Primary School Vocabulary Learning. ICO Dissertation Series. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/77635