An evaluation of equivalence-based instructional strategies on emergent foreign-language noun relations
Matter, Ashley Lindsey
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Recent research has utilized equivalence-based instruction to teach foreign-language nouns to young children, which may result in emergent untrained foreign-language noun relations. The current line of studies evaluated the effects of training specific relations on the emergence of untaught relations for 9 children. For Experiment 1, we systemically replicated Petursdottir & Hafliðadóttir (2009) by evaluating 4 foreign-language noun relations with 5 young children. The 4 relations we evaluated included: foreign-language tact (tact), auditory (foreign language word)-visual (pictures) conditional discrimination (listener), foreign-to-native intraverbal (FNI), and native-to-foreign intraverbal (NFI). In addition, we assessed 3 of the 5 participants’ preference for learning conditions using a concurrent chains procedure. For Experiment 2, we compared tact training with one exemplar to tact training with multiple exemplars (4 total) on emergent listener, NFI, and FNI responding with 2 pre-kindergarten students. For Experiment 3, we compared the efficiency of tact training in combination with emergent listener, NFI, and FNI responding to directly teaching all targeted relations (mixed training) with 2 pre-kindergarten students. Similar to Experiment 1, we assessed participants’ preference for learning conditions. Across all three studies, tact training, with one exemplar as well as multiple exemplars, resulted in high levels of emergence to untrained relations for most participants. For Experiment 1, 3 participants preferred the tact and listener learning conditions. The findings for Experiment 3 demonstrated that tact training was a more efficient teaching strategy than mixed training for one participant, and that the opposite was true for the other participant. In addition, both participants preferred the mixed training learning condition. The results of the 3 studies suggest that tact training may be an efficient equivalence-based instructional strategy to teach foreign-language nouns to young children.