Can We Enhance Statistical Learning? Exploring Statistical Learning Improvement in Children with Vocabulary Delay

Dongsun Yim, Yoonhee Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: If statistical learning ability is critical for language acquisition and language development, it is necessary to confirm whether enhancing statistical learning ability can improve the children’s language skills. The present study investigated whether children with and without vocabulary delay (VD) show a difference in improving statistical learning (SL) tasks manipulated with implicit, implicit*2 and explicit conditions, and with visual and auditory domains; and also explores the relationship among SL, vocabulary, and quick incidental learning (QUIL). Methods: A total of 132 children between 3 to 8 years participated in this study, including vocabulary delayed children (N=34) and typically developing children (N=98). Participants completed SL tasks which were composed of three exposure conditions, and Quick incidental learning (QUIL) tasks to tap the novel word learning ability. Results: The VD group score was significantly lower than the TD group in the explicit condition of the auditory statistical learning task, and there was a significant correlation between QUIL and SL_auditory (implicit*2) only in the TD group. Conclusion: These results may explain that the TD group was ready to accept the explicit cues for learning as a domain- specific (auditory) benefit, and their auditory SL ability can be closely linked to vocabulary abilities. The current study suggests one possibility; that the VD group can increase the statistical learning ability through double auditory exposures. The novel quick incidental learning in the TD group was supported by the statistical learning, but this was not seen in the VD group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-567
Number of pages10
JournalCommunication Sciences and Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology


  • Auditory and visual
  • Implicit and explicit
  • Statistical learning
  • Vocabulary delay


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