• rehearsal;
  • aptitude;
  • inner speech;
  • phonological awareness;
  • working memory

Foreign language learners rehearse the language they are learning, both vocally and subvocally, as part of inner speech development (Guerrero, 2005). To add to the research on which method of rehearsal is more effective for initial foreign vocabulary learning, this study examined two hypotheses: first, that the manner of rehearsal of foreign vocabulary words influences subsequent recall and recognition of those words and second, that foreign language aptitude, as measured by the Modern Language Aptitude Test, can predict the level of success in initial learning of foreign vocabulary. English speakers (n = 88) heard a Turkish noun said three times while looking at a picture of that noun. They then rehearsed the 20 Turkish nouns in 1 of 4 conditions: vocal rehearsal with their own auditory feedback, vocal rehearsal with their auditory feedback suppressed by white noise, subvocal rehearsal as part of inner speech, and no rehearsal. Participants were then asked to recall the Turkish word for each picture and recognize the words when said in a sentence. We found that participants with high foreign language (FL) aptitude recalled and recognized more target words than participants with low FL aptitude. Also, the ability to rehearse undisturbed, either vocally or subvocally, yielded the best results in recall and recognition of the foreign vocabulary across all levels of foreign language aptitude. The results suggest that students with L1 cognitive factors correlated with low FL aptitude should receive early training in phonological sensitivity and learning strategies to help them be successful language learners (de Jong, Seveke, & van Veen, 2000).