Prior knowledge

Word learning in the context of semantic prior knowledge: Evidence of interference from feature-based neighbours in children and adults

The presence of phonological neighbours facilitates word-form learning, suggesting that prior phonological knowledge supports vocabulary acquisition. We tested whether prior semantic knowledge similarly benefits word learning by teaching …

The role of prior lexical knowledge in children’s and adults’ incidental word learning from illustrated stories

Children and adults benefit from a new word’s phonological neighbors during explicit vocabulary instruction, suggesting that related prior knowledge can support new learning. This study examined the influence of lexical neighborhood structure during …

When the wabon flew to the intergalatic zoo: Accessing prior lexical knowledge in explicit and incidental word learning

Guest speaker at the *Language, Learning, & Cognition Lab* meeting, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Using prior knowledge to build vocabulary

Within education, the *Matthew effect* describes how the “rich get richer” in literacy skills. We focused on this effect in vocabulary, and asked how existing vocabulary knowledge might support memory for new words.

It'll be alright on the night

A book at bedtime provides opportunities for language learning. Our recent study suggests that learning new words before sleep might help us to remember them.

The Puzzle of Vocabulary Growth

Why do some children excel at vocabulary learning while others get left behind? We’ve been thinking about how new word learning builds upon vocabulary we already have.

Offline consolidation supersedes prior knowledge benefits in children's (but not adults') word learning

The relative contributions of different learning mechanisms may change across the lifespan.

Consolidating new words from repetitive versus multiple stories: Prior knowledge matters

For different stories, vocabulary enhanced consolidation of explicit knowledge. For repetitive stories, vocabulary had no positive impact on explicit learning.

Commentary: Knowledge Acquisition during Exam Preparation Improves Memory and Modulates Memory Formation

Commentary on Brod et al. (2016).