The Effect of Stimulus Variability on Learning and Generalization of Reading in a Novel Script Purpose The benefit of stimulus variability for generalization of acquired skills and knowledge has been shown in motor, perceptual, and language learning but has rarely been studied in reading. We studied the effect of variable training in a novel language on reading trained and untrained words. Method Sixty ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   September 15, 2017
The Effect of Stimulus Variability on Learning and Generalization of Reading in a Novel Script
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jasmeen Adwan-Mansour
    Learning Disabilities Department, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Tali Bitan
    Psychology Department, The Institute of Information Processing and Decision Making, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Tali Bitan: tbitan@research.haifa.ac.il
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Nicole Terry
    Associate Editor: Nicole Terry×
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   September 15, 2017
The Effect of Stimulus Variability on Learning and Generalization of Reading in a Novel Script
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0293
History: Received July 20, 2016 , Revised February 7, 2017 , Accepted March 23, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0293
History: Received July 20, 2016; Revised February 7, 2017; Accepted March 23, 2017

Purpose The benefit of stimulus variability for generalization of acquired skills and knowledge has been shown in motor, perceptual, and language learning but has rarely been studied in reading. We studied the effect of variable training in a novel language on reading trained and untrained words.

Method Sixty typical adults received 2 sessions of training in reading an artificial script. Participants were assigned to 1 of 3 groups: a variable training group practicing a large set of 24 words, and 2 nonvariable training groups practicing a smaller set of 12 words, with twice the number of repetitions per word.

Results Variable training resulted in higher accuracy for both trained and untrained items composed of the same graphemes, compared to the nonvariable training. Moreover, performance on untrained items was correlated with phonemic awareness only for the nonvariable training groups.

Conclusions High stimulus variability increases the reliance on small unit decoding in adults reading in a novel script, which is beneficial for both familiar and novel words. These results show that the statistical properties of the input during reading acquisition influence the type of acquired knowledge and have theoretical and practical implications for planning efficient reading instruction methods.

Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5302195

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