University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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I see what you read: Examining vocabulary learning from reading using eye-tracking

08 April 2014 (18:30-19:30)

The Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics in China (CRALC), the School of English, is pleased to invite you to the following Public Lecture presented by Dr Ana Pellicer Sánchez, the School of English, UNUK

Title:  I see what you read:  Examining vocabulary learning from reading using eye-tracking

Reading is an important source of second language (L2) vocabulary learning. The majority of studies on incidental vocabulary learning from reading has focused on learners' acquisition of new words' form and meaning (e.g. Horst, Cobb, & Meara, 1998), showing relatively small gains. However, more recent studies addressing other components of vocabulary knowledge have shown that vocabulary acquisition from reading is much more diverse than previously thought (e.g. Pellicer-Sánchez & Schmitt, 2010; Webb, 2005). Another important concern in vocabulary acquisition research has been the effect of repetition for learning vocabulary incidentally from reading, with the majority of studies suggesting that new words need to be encountered around 8-10 times for considerable learning to occur.

However, these previous studies used off-line measures in the form of post-reading tests. Although still informative of the quantity and quality of vocabulary learnt from reading, these measures do not tell us much about what is happening when readers encounter unknown words while reading.

This presentation will report results of a study which combined off-line (vocabulary tests) and online (eye-tracking) measures to examine the incidental acquisition of vocabulary knowledge from reading and the online reading of unknown lexical items. L1 and L2 readers of English read a text containing unknown words while their eye-movements were recorded. Overall, findings suggest that reading led to the acquisition of different components of lexical knowledge. Results also suggest that both L1 and L2 readers spent more time initially reading unknown words but this decreased significantly as an effect of repetition. Results of the study also suggest a significant relationship between reading behavior and vocabulary learning, with longer reading times been associated with higher vocabulary scores. Results of this study will provide an excellent comparison between the L1 and L2 reading processes.

About the Speaker

Dr Ana Pellicer-Sánchez is a lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham. Her main research interests include the acquisition and teaching of vocabulary in a second or foreign language, particularly from reading. Her main interests also include the use of psycholinguistics measures of reaction time (RT) and eye-tracking to investigate vocabulary knowledge and reading. Her most recent research investigates the similarities and differences between first language and second language reading processes using eye-tracking methodology.