A Bidirectional Relationship between Conceptual Organization and Word Learning

Tanya Kaefer, Susan B. Neuman
2013 Child Development Research  
This study explores the relationship between word learning and conceptual organization for preschool-aged children. We proposed a bidirectional model in which increases in word learning lead to increases in taxonomic organization, which, in turn, leads to further increases in word learning. In order to examine this model, we recruited 104 4-year olds from Head Start classrooms; 52 children participated in a two-week training program, and 52 children were in a control group. Results indicated
more » ... t children in the training program learned more words and were more likely to sort taxonomically than children in the control condition. Furthermore, the number of words learned over the training period predicted the extent to which children categorized taxonomically. Additionally, this ability to categorize taxonomically predicted the number of words learned outside the training program, over and above the number of words learned in the program. These results suggest a bi-directional relationship between conceptual organization and word learning.
doi:10.1155/2013/298603 fatcat:5eoq3zpd3zdhthwyh5iuvxw35u