Many people often wonder what verbal learning is. To some people verbal learning can simply mean learning verbally with a person’s mouth. However, verbal learning does not only mean learning with a person’s mouth, and individual can learn verbally in different ways. Verbal is consisting of words that spoken rather than written. Some people will have to learn when things have been written done instead of spoken. There are people who will understand what is being taught to them when things are written rather than spoken because they will have a clear picture on what they are learning.
“Verbal learning is usually identified with the learning or memorization of lists of words. It is concerned with the acquisition and retention of such items in an effort to describe the basic laws of learning” (Terry, 2009, p. 157). In this paper the concept of verbal learning will be described. The comparison and contrast of serial learning, paired associated learning, and free call will be discussed.
Finally, the concept of mnemonics is the recall of verbal stimuli will be explored.
Concept of Learning
Verbal learning is important in today’s society. Verbal learning helps with memorization of learning different tasks and lists of words. As individuals become older, he or she will continue to learn throughout life. “Early verbal learning researchers studied the effects of such variables as the number of repetitions, the spacing of the repetitions, or the transfer of learning from one list to another” (Terry, 2009, p. 157). For example, when a person is in elementary school, he or she has a spelling test coming up on a Friday.
There are many tasks that he or she will do to prepare for the test. One of the tasks that the student will do is write each word five times each to start the memorizing the words. Not only would the person write the word repetitiously but he or she will have to say the word out loud and spell the word. When practicing these tasks it will help the individual to memorize the word and know how to spell the word later in life.
There can be several variables that may impact the retention of verbal learning. Some of the variables that can have an impact on verbal learning are hearing loss or a short attention span. If a person is hearing impaired it will be very difficult for him or he to learn verbally. However, he or she will still be able to learn with other forms of learning such as category learning or visual learning. Sometimes when a person has a hearing problem he or she can still learn by reading another person’s lips to understand what he or she is learning. When a person has a short attention span it is hard to keep his or her attention on what is being taught to him or her.
Some people that can have these problems are people with ADHD or autism. A person can grasp a person with autism attention by using a picture. If the person with autism attention is on a picture then he or she will sit and learn what he or she is supposed to learn. There are other types of learning that ties into verbal learning. These types of learning are serial learning, paired associated learning, and free recall.
Serial Learning, Paired Associate Learning, and Free Recall
There was a German scholar by the name of Herman Ebbinghaus. Ebbinghaus discovered that there were approaches for memory. When Ebbinghaus began an experiment, the experiment involved serial learning. “Serial learning, or memorizing lists in sequence until they could be recalled perfectly. The learning materials were three letter syllables, each composed of a consonant, vowel, and a consonant, referred to English as nonsense syllables” (Terry, 2009, p. 158). For example, multiplication is something that has to learn in sequence. A person cannot learn the multiplication of six before he or she learn the multiplication of one, two, three, four, and five. It is very important to learn the numbers before six because the numbers before are in the multiplication of six.
Therefore, when it is time to recall the multiplication of six the person will know all the multiplications when recited The second type of learning is paired associate learning. A paired associate learning involves the pairing of two items or words. These two items are the stimulus and response. For example, a paired item can be table and chair. Meaning the stimulus is table and the response is chair. Therefore, when someone say table another person will respond and say chair. The last type of learning is free recall. “Free recall is a list of items presented and the subject attempts to recall as many of them as possible” (Terry, 2009, p. 170). However, there is a difference between free recall and serial learning. When a person uses free recall he or she do not have to recite the list in order.
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