The present study examined the effect of presentation rate on foreign-language vocabulary learning. Experiment 1 varied presentation rates from 1 s to 16 s per pair while keeping the total study time per pair constant. Speakers of English studied Dutch–English translation pairs (e.g., kikker–frog) for 16 × 1 s, 8 × 2 s, 4 × 4 s, 2 × 8 s, or 1 × 16 s. The results showed a nonmonotonic relationship between presentation rate and recall performance for both translation directions (Dutch → English and English → Dutch). Performance was best for intermediate presentation rates and dropped off for short (1 s) or long (16 s) presentation rates. Experiment 2 showed that the nonmonotonic relationship between presentation rate and recall performance was still present after a 1-day retention interval for both translation directions. Our results suggest that a presentation rate in the order of 4 s results in optimal learning of foreign-language vocabulary.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Cued recall, Language learning, Spacing; Study time, Vocabulary learning
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2014.975730, hdl.handle.net/1765/86428
Journal The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Citation
Zeelenberg, R, de Jonge, M, Tabbers, H.K, & Pecher, D. (2015). The effect of presentation rate on foreign-language vocabulary learning. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68(6), 1101–1115. doi:10.1080/17470218.2014.975730