Presentation Title

Effect of Interleaving Versus Blocking on Learning Spanish Verb Conjugation in the Preterite and Imperfect Tenses

Faculty Mentor

Timothy Rickard

Start Date

18-11-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:00 AM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 18

Session

Poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Students often learn using ineffective methods (Dunlosky et al., 2013). For instance, in a common method called blocking, one subject is learned at a time. A potentially more effective method is interleaving, the approach of alternating between different types of problems while studying. Previous research has shown that there has been an interleaving advantage when learning two or more related topics or skills in the motor learning and visual category learning domains (Hall et al., 1994; Kang & Pashler, 2012). Interleaving may produce more learning by giving students practice in discriminating problems and accessing long-term memory. Yet, little research exists on using interleaving for school subjects like foreign language grammar. In this study, non-Spanish speaking students learned how to conjugate Spanish verbs in the preterite and imperfect past tenses using blocking or interleaving. Blocking involved learning one tense and then the other, whereas interleaving involved switching between tenses throughout the training session. After a 48-hour delay, students took a final test in which they answered fill-in-the-blank and multiple-choice questions on how to correctly conjugate verbs (e.g., “bailar” becomes “baile”) in Spanish sentences with English translations present. Although data collection is still in progress, preliminary results indicate a trend toward greater learning in the interleaving than in the blocked group. Interleaving appears to have benefits in learning and teaching, yet it is rarely implemented in academic settings and textbooks. This study adds to prior research in regards to interleaving for learning school subjects.

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Nov 18th, 10:00 AM Nov 18th, 11:00 AM

Effect of Interleaving Versus Blocking on Learning Spanish Verb Conjugation in the Preterite and Imperfect Tenses

BSC-Ursa Minor 18

Students often learn using ineffective methods (Dunlosky et al., 2013). For instance, in a common method called blocking, one subject is learned at a time. A potentially more effective method is interleaving, the approach of alternating between different types of problems while studying. Previous research has shown that there has been an interleaving advantage when learning two or more related topics or skills in the motor learning and visual category learning domains (Hall et al., 1994; Kang & Pashler, 2012). Interleaving may produce more learning by giving students practice in discriminating problems and accessing long-term memory. Yet, little research exists on using interleaving for school subjects like foreign language grammar. In this study, non-Spanish speaking students learned how to conjugate Spanish verbs in the preterite and imperfect past tenses using blocking or interleaving. Blocking involved learning one tense and then the other, whereas interleaving involved switching between tenses throughout the training session. After a 48-hour delay, students took a final test in which they answered fill-in-the-blank and multiple-choice questions on how to correctly conjugate verbs (e.g., “bailar” becomes “baile”) in Spanish sentences with English translations present. Although data collection is still in progress, preliminary results indicate a trend toward greater learning in the interleaving than in the blocked group. Interleaving appears to have benefits in learning and teaching, yet it is rarely implemented in academic settings and textbooks. This study adds to prior research in regards to interleaving for learning school subjects.