This study examines the effects of the levels of speech practice on fast mapping in monolingual and bilingual speakers.


Participants were 30 English-speaking monolingual and 30 Spanish–English bilingual young adults. Each participant was randomly assigned to 1 of 3 practice conditions prior to the fast-mapping task: (a) intensive speech practice, (b) moderate speech practice, or (c) no practice. In a fast-mapping experiment, each participant was briefly exposed to novel objects and their corresponding novel words. Participants' knowledge of the target novel words was assessed immediately after the exposures.


There were significant effects of speech practice on fast mapping for both monolingual and bilingual adults. It is important to note that participants' language experience also played a role in their fast-mapping performance.


The findings suggest that speech practice, interacting with language experience, facilitates the processes for fast mapping.


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