ERIC Number: EJ1139261
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Second Language Experience Facilitates Statistical Learning of Novel Linguistic Materials
Potter, Christine E.; Wang, Tianlin; Saffran, Jenny R.
Cognitive Science, v41 suppl 4 p913-927 Apr 2017
Recent research has begun to explore individual differences in statistical learning, and how those differences may be related to other cognitive abilities, particularly their effects on language learning. In this research, we explored a different type of relationship between language learning and statistical learning: the possibility that learning a new language may also influence statistical learning by changing the regularities to which learners are sensitive. We tested two groups of participants, Mandarin Learners and Naïve Controls, at two time points, 6 months apart. At each time point, participants performed two different statistical learning tasks: an artificial tonal language statistical learning task and a visual statistical learning task. Only the Mandarin-learning group showed significant improvement on the linguistic task, whereas both groups improved equally on the visual task. These results support the view that there are multiple influences on statistical learning. Domain-relevant experiences may affect the regularities that learners can discover when presented with novel stimuli.
Descriptors: Second Language Learning, Learning Experience, Mandarin Chinese, Control Groups, Task Analysis, Statistics, Individual Differences, Cognitive Ability, Correlation, Tone Languages, Visual Stimuli, Learning Processes, Comparative Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF); Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DGE1256259; R37HD037466