Although repeated reading – a pedagogical practice often involving phonological support in which learners revisit novel forms in context – has been extensively studied in terms of reading fluency and comprehension, little research has explored whether it promotes language acquisition. The current study, an attempt to fill this gap, found that without explicit instruction 80 Mandarinspeaking intermediate learners of Japanese as a foreign language were capable of recognizing nearly one novel foreign orthographic form in every three seeded in passages after one hour of repeated-reading-based practice. The study also shows that the efficacy of repeated reading was modulated by how the phonological practice was implemented (e.g. shadowing, time-lapse imitation, subvocalization) and whether the target vocabulary was encountered in the same or different contexts. Additionally, repeated reading was found to be more effective with target vocabulary that shares etymological roots with the learners’ L1. Pedagogical implications based on these findings are discussed in terms of how repeated-reading-based techniques should be best implemented for the most positive outcomes in terms of incidental foreign vocabulary acquisition.
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