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Repetition and Incidental Learning of Multiword Units: A Conceptual Multisite Replication Study of Webb, Newton, and Chang (2013)

Peters, Elke; Puimège, Eva; Szudarski, Paweł


Elke Peters

Eva Puimège


This multisite study replicates Webb, Newton, and Chang's (2013) study on the effect of repetition on incidental learning of multiword units (MWUs). Even though more researchers have started to investigate MWUs, most data have been collected from university students. Furthermore, the large effect of MWU repetition on learning reported by Webb etal. has not yet been corroborated. Data in our study were collected from two university samples (EFL students in Poland and Flanders) and one nonuniversity sample (Flemish EFL learners in secondary schools). Unlike Webb etal., we adopted a counterbalanced within-participants design. Participants read and listened to a modified graded reader in which target MWUs occurred 1, 5, 10, or 15 times. In line with the initial study, we found a positive effect of repetition. However, the learning gains were smaller, and the number of repetitions needed was different. The findings were consistent across the university and nonuniversity samples. The study concludes with a discussion of these findings in relation to both pedagogical implications and the benefits of multisite replication research.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 23, 2023
Online Publication Date Nov 27, 2023
Publication Date 2023-12
Deposit Date Oct 26, 2023
Publicly Available Date Nov 28, 2024
Journal Language Learning
Print ISSN 0023-8333
Electronic ISSN 1467-9922
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 73
Issue 4
Pages 1211-1251
Keywords repetition; replication; multiword units; vocabulary; incidental learning; English
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