Effect of Spaced Repetition on Iranian EFL Learners’ Form Recall of English Single Words and Collocations

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Garmsar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Garmsar, Iran

2 Department of English, Faculty of Humanities, Garmsar Branch, Islamic azad University, Garmsar, Iran


Acquiring vocabulary has always been recognized as a significant and challenging part of language learning process. In this study, the researcher examined the extent to which form recall of target lexical items by learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) is affected by a) repetition and b) by the type of target item; single words versus collocations. The treatment consisted of non-communicative, (partly) decontextualized activities, in which the target items were taught and examined. For this purpose, 27 Iranian intermediate EFL learners were chosen and divided into two groups of A with 14 and B with 13 participants. In all activities, the participants had to supply the target items’ forms. Data were collected in a classroom setting in two groups, differing only in the type of target item. In class A, the research focused on single words and in class B the focus was on collocations. A pre and post test was administered to the participants before and after the treatment. The findings show a large effect of spaced repetition on form recall of single words and collocations. However, the participants in class A who were treated with single words outperformed the other group.