The effects of spacing and massing on children's orthographic learning

Journal article


Wegener, Signy, Wang, Hua-Chen, Beyersmann, Elisabeth, Nation, Kate, Colenbrander, Danielle and Castles, Anne. (2022). The effects of spacing and massing on children's orthographic learning. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 214, p. Article 105309. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2021.105309
AuthorsWegener, Signy, Wang, Hua-Chen, Beyersmann, Elisabeth, Nation, Kate, Colenbrander, Danielle and Castles, Anne
Abstract

Despite substantial evidence that spacing study opportunities over time improves the retention of learned verbal material compared with study trials that occur consecutively, the influence of temporal spacing on children’s learning of written words has not been investigated. This experiment examined whether temporal spacing influenced Grade 3 and 4 children’s (N = 37; mean age = 8 years 7 months) learning of novel written words during independent reading compared with massing. Children read 16 sentences containing a novel word under either a spaced (sentences appeared once in each of four blocks) or massed conditions (four consecutive trials). After a delay, orthographic learning was assessed using recognition (orthographic choice) and recall (spelling to dictation) measures. Words experienced in the spaced condition were better recognized than those in the massed condition, but there was no effect on recall. These findings suggest that temporal spacing influences the acquisition of new written word forms, extending the potential utility of the spacing principle to reading acquisition.

Keywordsreading; orthographic learning; spacing effect; reading development; distributed practice; learning
Year2022
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Journal citation214, p. Article 105309
PublisherElsevier Inc.
ISSN0022-0965
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2021.105309
PubMed ID34753014
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85118562853
Open accessPublished as green open access
Page range1-11
FunderAustralian Research Council (ARC)
Author's accepted manuscript
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Open
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Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online06 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Oct 2023
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDDP200100311
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