The Effects of Frequency, Neighborhood Density and Number of Distractors on Alphabet Learning in an Adaptive Game

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
An important part of language acquisition is alphabet learning. Another important part is acquiring the words of a language. The moment a word is learned is called the age of acquisition, and can depend on several factors such as the frequency that the word is heard, the length of the word, and how familiar the word looks (orthography) or sounds (phonology) like already known words. In this thesis I tried to find out if some of the factors that have an influence on word acquisition, also have an influence on alphabet acquisition. I did this to find out how alphabet acquisition can be made more effectively. To find out if the examined factors do have an effect, I used an educational game, the Bee Letter Game from egoTeach, and adapted the game into different versions based upon the factors. This game is used for letter learning, and the user has to distinguish the right letter (that is heard) from distractors before a bee reaches that letter. The different adaptations of the game are based upon the frequency of the occurrence of a letter, the neighborhood density and the number of distractors. Every adaptation is tested by 8 adult participants and each one had to play through 100 letters. This experiment did not find significant effects of frequency neighborhood density, nor the number of distractors on players’ performance. However, because adult participants were used instead of pre-schooled children for whom the game was meant, it is possible that the results are not representative for children and therefore the absence of any effects in this experiment does not mean that those factors do not have an effect.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen