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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

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This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Academic Paper


Title: An Eye for Words - Gauging the Role of Attention in Incidental L2 Vocabulary Acquisition by Means of Eye-Tracking
Author: Aline Godfroid
Institution: Michigan State University
Author: Franks Boers
Institution: Victoria University of Wellington
Author: Alex Housen
Institution: Vrije University Brussels
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: 'This eye-tracking study tests the hypothesis that more attention leads to more learning, following claims that attention to new language elements in the input results in their initial representation in long-term memory (i.e., intake; Robinson, 2003; Schmidt, 1990, 2001).
Twenty-eight advanced learners of English read English texts that contained 12 targets for incidental word learning. The target was a known word (control condition), a matched pseudoword, or that pseudoword preceded or followed by the known word (with the latter being a cue to the pseudoword’s meaning). Participants’ eye-fixation durations on the targets during reading served as a measure of the amount of attention paid (see Rayner, 2009).
Results indicate that participants spent more time processing the unknown pseudowords than their matched controls. The longer participants looked at a pseudoword during reading, the more likely they were to recognize that word in an unannounced vocabulary posttest. Finally, the known, appositive cues were fixated longer when they followed the pseudowords than when they preceded them; however, their presence did not lead to higher retention of the pseudowords.
We discuss how eye-tracking may add to existing methodologies for studying attention and noticing (Schmidt, 1990) in SLA.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 35, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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