GAME-BASED SECOND LANGUAGE VOCABULARY TRAINING: IMPLICATIONS FOR LEARNING OUTCOMES AND BRAIN FUNCTION
This study sought to investigate the influence of training strategy on adult second language vocabulary learning and the development and integration of second language semantic networks in the brain. English speaking participants completed a 10-day game-based training program (“LANGA”), in which they learned 72 French vocabulary words via two training strategies. Words were either paired directly with their associated meaning (“explicit” strategy) or taught in the form of a three-word sentence (“implicit” strategy). Following training, we observed increased recall and recognition of French vocabulary, as well as a significant N400 effect for mismatched word pairs, although this was limited to explicitly learned words. Images semantically related to learned words produced a reduced N400 compared to mismatched pairs, similar to effects observed native French speakers. Our results attest to the plasticity of adult brains and provide evidence for rapid integration of words into existing semantic networks, in a late learned language.