Retention of Spanish Vocabulary Over 8 Years

Harry P. Bahrick, Elizabeth Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thirty-five individuals who had learned and relearned 50 English-Spanish word pairs were tested for recall and recognition after an interval of 8 years. Two variables, the spacing between successive relearning sessions and the number of presentations required to encode individual word pairs, are excellent predictors of the likelihood of achieving permastore retention. Optimum recall occurs for words encoded in 1-2 presentations and accessed at intervals of 30 days. Both variables yield monotonic retention functions that account for a range of variation from 0% to 23% recall. These variables also have very significant effects on the recognition of unrecalled words.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-349
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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