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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 August 2016

Tatsuya Nakata*
Kansai University, Japan
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Tatsuya Nakata, Faculty of Foreign Language Studies, Kansai University, 3-3-35 Yamate-cho, Suita-shi, Osaka 564-8680 Japan. E-mail:


Although research shows that repetition increases second language vocabulary learning, only several studies have examined the long-term effects of increasing retrieval frequency in one learning session. With this in mind, the present study examined the effects of within-session repeated retrieval on vocabulary learning. The study is original in that it (a) gave posttests after a delay greater than 2 weeks, (b) employed a paired-associate format to exert strict control over the treatment, (c) considered time-on-task as a factor, and (d) used the same target items for different frequency levels. In this study, 98 Japanese learners studied 16 English-Japanese word pairs using one of the following four retrieval frequency levels: one, three, five, or seven. Results showed that five and seven retrievals contributed to significantly higher scores than one and three retrievals regardless of the posttest timing. When time-on-task was controlled, however, one retrieval led to the largest gain.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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This research was supported by the Faculty Research Grant (#109605) and the Victoria PhD Scholarship from Victoria University of Wellington as well as Grant-in-Aid for Research Activity Start-up (#15H06746) and Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (A) (#16H05943) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan. This article is based on part of the author’s doctoral dissertation, which was submitted to Victoria University of Wellington in 2013. I am very grateful to Stuart Webb, Paul Nation, Jan Hulstijn, Rod Ellis, Stuart McLean, Laura Huston, and anonymous reviewers for their invaluable advice and Tomohiro Tsuchiya for his cooperation with data collection.



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