The present study explored whether the phonological bias favoring consonants found in French-learning infants and children when learning new words (Havy & Nazzi, 2009; Nazzi, 2005) is language-general, as proposed by Nespor, Peña and Mehler (2003), or varies across languages, perhaps as a function of the phonological or lexical properties of the language in acquisition. To do so, we used the interactive word-learning task set up by Havy and Nazzi (2009), teaching Danish-learning 20-month-olds pairs of phonetically similar words that contrasted either on one of their consonants or one of their vowels, by either one or two phonological features. Danish was chosen because it has more vowels than consonants, and is characterized by extensive consonant lenition. Both phenomena could disfavor a consonant bias. Evidence of word-learning was found only for vocalic information, irrespective of whether one or two phonological features were changed. The implication of these findings is that the phonological biases found in early lexical processing are not language-general but develop during language acquisition, depending on the phonological or lexical properties of the native language.
This position paper discusses how the tenets of Whole Language and Deaf Bilingual-Bicultural Education complement each other. It stresses that Whole Language is based on natural processes through which children can translate their constructs of personal experiences, observations, and perspectives into modes of communication that include written language and, in the present case, American Sign Language. The paper is based on two emphases: (a) Whole Language emphasizes a two-way teaching/learning process, teachers learning from children, and vice versa; and (b) Deaf Bilingual-Bicultural Education emphasizes American Sign Language as a language of instruction and builds on mutual respect for the similarities and differences in the sociocultural and socioeducational experiences and values of Deaf and hearing people. Both Whole Language and Deaf Bilingual-Bicultural Education attempt to authenticate curriculum by integrating Deaf persons' worldviews as part of educational experience.
In 1996 the medical school of the University of Oslo introduced a new pedagogical model. The new scheme was more interactive, and partly based on a problem-based learning approach.
We used a questionnaire survey which is part of a broader study of how Norwegian professional education prepares for work. A class of medical students studying under the new scheme is compared to a class studying under the old model, as well as a class from another Norwegian medical school, that of the University of Bergen. Median values on seven-point scales are used in the comparison, as well as factor analysis with variance analysis of the factor scores.
The overall response rate was 76%. Students studying under the new Oslo approach were more satisfied and reported more active learning strategies. They were less curriculum-oriented and used the library more often.
Some of the goals of the Oslo reform seem to have been reached. It remains to be seen whether this effect will last.
In two experiments, we examined the "Novelty-Encoding Hypothesis" proposed by Tulving and Kroll (1995), suggesting that the encoding of online information into long-term memory is influenced by its novelty and that novelty increases recognition performance. In Phase 1 (familiarization phase), subjects participated in a standard memory experiment in which different types of materials (verbs and nouns) were studied under different encoding conditions (enactment and non-enactment) and were tested by an expected recognition test. In Phase 2 (critical phase), subjects evaluated the materials (both familiar materials which were encoded earlier in Phase 1, and novel materials which were not presented earlier in Phase 1) in a frequency judgment task and were given an unexpected recognition test. The results of both experiments showed that novel items were recognized better than familiar items. This result held true for both hit rates - false alarms and hit rates. The novelty effect was observed for different subjects (Swedish and Japanese), different materials (verbs and nouns; high frequency and low frequency), and different types of encoding in Phase 1 (enactment and non-enactment). These findings provide support for the "Novelty-Encoding Hypothesis" stating that the effect is based on the encoding of target items at the time of the critical study (Phase 2). A comparison between the present experiments and the Tulving and Kroll (1995), Dobbins, Kroll, Yonelinas & Liu (1998) and Greene (1999) studies suggests that the novelty effect is more pronounced under incidental encoding than under intentional encoding.
Activation of students in lectures to enhance learning by means of questions to be answered in buzz groups has been described in pedagogic handbooks and articles. We tried the concept in three lectures in biochemistry in order to evaluate use of time, training requirements of the lecturer, and method acceptance by students.
The experiment was carried out with a group of 87 medical students from a 4th semester course in biochemistry. Evaluation was made by direct observation and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from a student questionnaire.
Buzz groups and questions took less time than anticipated and not more than ten minutes of the lecture time. The lecturer needed supervision from a colleague to function well. Acceptance of the procedure was high among the students. Qualitative data indicate that students used more time for self-studies and moved towards deep learning.
We conclude that interactive lecture could be implemented without major problems in lecture based educational programmes and that it is useful for the learning of the students.
We report a new study testing our proposal that word learning may be best explained as an approximate form of Bayesian inference (Xu & Tenenbaum, in press). Children are capable of learning word meanings across a wide range of communicative contexts. In different contexts, learners may encounter different sampling processes generating the examples of word-object pairings they observe. An ideal Bayesian word learner could take into account these differences in the sampling process and adjust his/her inferences about word meaning accordingly. We tested how children and adults learned words for novel object kinds in two sampling contexts, in which the objects to be labeled were sampled either by a knowledgeable teacher or by the learners themselves. Both adults and children generalized more conservatively in the former context; that is, they restricted the label to just those objects most similar to the labeled examples when the exemplars were chosen by a knowledgeable teacher, but not when chosen by the learners themselves. We discuss how this result follows naturally from a Bayesian analysis, but not from other statistical approaches such as associative word-learning models.
Debriefing is pivotal to the simulation learning process, and the reflection that it aims to foster is fundamental in experiential learning. Despite its importance, essential aspects of debriefing remain unclear.
To investigate reflection in debriefings by assessing participants' reflection levels in discussions of leader/follower-ship or role distribution and compare occurrences of high reflection with those of lower reflection.
The data consisted of videos from 38 debriefings with 10 debriefers from the Danish Institute of Medical Simulation. An adapted framework of reflection levels was used for the analysis. A comparison was made between debriefers' utterances across occurrences of higher and lower reflection.
Participants reached only lower reflection levels. Of five reflection levels, the second was reached the most frequently and the third was the highest reached. No salient differences were found in debriefers' utterances across occurrences of higher and lower reflection.
Participants' reflection levels were low in this cohort of novice doctors training leadership skills in acute situations. However, the desired reflection should be appropriated to the given context. The rating of reflection levels is a promising approach to analyze reflection in conversation in experience-based learning situations.
The present study reports the results of a cross-cultural analysis of the role of phonetic and semantic cues in verbal learning and memory. A newly developed memory test procedure, the Bergen-Tucson Verbal Learning Test (BTVLT), expands earlier test procedures as phonetic cues are applied in addition to semantic cues in a cued recall procedure. Samples of reading disabled and typically developed adolescents from the US and from Norway were recruited as voluntary participants. The results indicate that the stimulus materials chosen for the memory test are working well in both American and in Norwegian samples, yielding acquisition results comparable to similar list learning procedures, and also yielding high internal consistency across learning trials. The procedure also reliably differentiates between reading disabled samples in both languages, and also yields cross-cultural differences that seem to reflect differences in transparency and differences in the orthography of the included languages. The BTVLT with its focus on phonetic coding is a promising supplement to established tests of verbal memory for assessment of reading and language impaired individuals.
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