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Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Commun. | doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2021.605009

Pictorial Referents Facilitate Recognition and Retrieval Speeds of Associations between Novel Words in a Second Language (L2) and Referents Provisionally accepted The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon. Notify me

Xinyi Liu1, Hiroki Horinouchi2,  Yutao Yang1, Yan Yan1, Misa Ando2,  Ukwueze J. Obinna3, Shushi Namba4 and  Toshimune Kambara1*
  • 1Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Education, Hiroshima University, Japan
  • 2Program in Psychology, School of Education, Hiroshima University, Japan
  • 3Citadel International Nursery and Primary School, Nigeria
  • 4Psychological Process Team, BZP, Robotics Project, Riken University, Japan

This study reveals associative processes for novel words in a second language (L2) and their referents. Thirty Japanese participants learned associative pairs for novel words in Chinese and pictorial referents (CP), as well as novel words in Chinese and words in Japanese (CJ), against a condition in which they learned only novel words in Chinese (C). After the learning phase, participants conducted two learning condition retrieval tasks for word recognition and three recognition tasks for the source-monitoring of the referents. The correct answers for each recognition task were provided to participants after each trial. Although the correct answers in all conditions increased in both the recognition and learning condition retrieval tasks, there was no significant difference among conditions. In contrast, the response times of the correct trials in all recognition tasks and the first learning condition retrieval tasks were faster for the CP condition than the CJ condition. Third, in the second learning condition retrieval task, missed items in associative conditions (CP and CJ conditions) were judged to be learned items more often than unlearned items, whereas missed items in the non-associative condition (C condition) were judged unlearned items more than learned items. These findings suggest that pictures contribute to the recognition and retrieval speed of associations between novel words in L2 and referents, and that associative learning of L2 words and referents could enhance more familiarity effects than the learning of L2 words only.

Keywords: associative learning, word learning, second language, Dual coding theory, Novel words

Received: 11 Sep 2020; Accepted: 15 Feb 2021.

Copyright: © 2021 Liu, Horinouchi, Yang, Yan, Ando, Obinna, Namba and Kambara. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Toshimune Kambara, Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Education, Hiroshima University, Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima, 7398524, Japan,