WORD FAMILIARITY EFFECTS IN EFL READING: AN EYE TRACKING STUDY

Emrah Dolgunsöz

Abstract


Do you know what happens in mind when we encounter a novel word while reading a newspaper, a paragraph or a short story? Via eye tracking technique, this study aimed to gather clues about how our mind reacts to an unknown word while we read in another language by examining word familiarity effects on eye movements during EFL reading. After a vocabulary test, eye movements of 60 EFL learners at intermediate level were recorded while they read identical sentence pairs including words with different length and frequency. The results showed that (1) total time spent on words and reanalysis times were predicted by vocabulary knowledge, (2) initial word processing was not predicted by vocabulary size (3) unfamiliar words attended more attention and required more cognitive effort than familiar words, (4) familiar words are processed in similar time spans for English as L1 and L2 but unfamiliar words cause more cognitive load in EFL. The results were discussed in comparison to L1 eye movement research in reading and were evaluated regarding EFL reading in terms of noticing hypothesis, incidental vocabulary acquisition and EFL reading instruction. 


Full Text:

PDF

References


Anderson, R. C. (1996). Research foundations to support wide reading. Promoting reading in developing countries, 55-77.

Balota, D. A., Pilotti, M., & Corteze, M. J. (2001). Subjective frequency estimates for 2,938 monosyllabic words. Memory and Cognition, 29, 639–647.

Brunfaut, T., & McCray, G. (2015). Looking into test-takers' cognitive processes whilst completing reading tasks: a mixed-method eye-tracking and stimulated recall study, British Council.

Carrol, G., & Conklin, K. (2017). Cross language lexical priming extends to formulaic units: Evidence from eye-tracking suggests that this idea ‘has legs’. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 20(2), 299-317.

Chaffin, R., Morris, R. K., & Seely, R. E. (2001). Learning new word meanings from context: a study of eye movements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 27(1), 225.

Connine, C. M., Mullenix, J., Shernoff, E., & Yelen, J. (1990). Word familiarity and frequency in visual and auditory word recognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 16, 1084–1096.

Crystal, D. (2002). The English Language, Penguin, UK

Cunningham, A. E. (2005). Vocabulary growth through independent reading and reading aloud to children. Teaching and learning vocabulary: Bringing research to practice, 45-68.

Dolgunsöz, E. (2015). Measuring Attention in Second Language Reading Using Eye-tracking: The Case of the Noticing Hypothesis. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 8(5).

Ferraro, F., & Sturgill, D. (1998). Lexical effects and lexical properties associated with National Adult Reading Test (NART) stimuli in healthy young adults and healthy elderly adults. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 54, 577–584.

Frisson, S., & Pickering, M. J. (2007). The processing of familiar and novel senses of a word: Why reading Dickens is easy but reading Needham can be hard. Language and cognitive processes, 22(4), 595-613.

Godfroid, A., Ahn, J., Choi, I., Ballard, L., Cui, Y., Johnston, S., & Yoon, H. J. (2017). Incidental vocabulary learning in a natural reading context: an eye-tracking study. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1-22.

Godfroid, A., Boers, F., & Housen, A. (2013). An Eye for Words. Studies in Foreign Language Acquisition, 35(03), 483-517.

Godfroid, A., Loewen, S., Jung, S., Park, J. H., Gass, S., & Ellis, R. (2015). Timed and untimed grammaticality judgments measure distinct types of knowledge: Evidence from eye-movement patterns. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 37(2), 269-297.

Gordon, B. (1985). Subjective frequency and the lexical decision latency function: Implications for mechanisms of lexical access. Journal of Memory and Language, 24, 631–645.

Goulden, R., Nation, P., Read, J. (1990). How large can a receptive vocabulary be? Applied Linguistics 11: 341-363.

Hirsh, D., Nation, P. (1992). What vocabulary size is needed to read unsimplified texts for pleasure? Reading in a Foreign Language 8, 2: 689-696.

Juhasz, B. J., & Rayner, K. (2003). Investigating the effects of a set of intercorrelated variables on eye fixation durations in reading. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, 29, 1312-1318.

Kucera, H. (1982). The mathematics of language. In The American Heritage Dictionary. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 2nd ed.

Laufer, B. (1989). What percentage of text-lexis is essential for comprehension? In C. Lauren and M. Nordman (eds.), Special Language: From Humans Thinking to Thinking Machines. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Na, L., Nation, P. (1985). Factors affecting guessing vocabulary in context. RELC Journal 16, 1: 33-42.

Nation, I. (2006). How large a vocabulary is needed for reading and listening?. Canadian Modern Language Review, 63(1), 59-82.

Nation, I. S. (2013). Learning Vocabulary in Another Language Google eBook. Cambridge University Press.

Nation, P. (1990). Teaching and Learning Vocabulary. New York: Newbury House.

Prichard, C., & Atkins, A. (2016). Evaluating L2 readers' previewing strategies using eye tracking. Reading Matrix, 16(2), 110–130.

Prichard, C., & Atkins, A. (2017). L2 Readers' Global Processing and Selective Attention: An Eye Tracking Study. TESOL Quarterly.

Rayner, K. (1998). Eye movements in reading and information processing: 20 years of research. Psychological bulletin, 124(3), 372.

Révész, A., & Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2016). Teachers’ Perspectives on Second Language Task Difficulty: Insights from Think-Alouds and Eye Tracking, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 36, 182-204.

Schmidt, R. (1990). The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied linguistics, 11(2), 129-158.

Schmidt, R. (2010). Attention, awareness, and individual differences in language learning. In W. M. Chan, S. Chi, K. N. Cin, J. Istanto, M. Nagami, J. W. Sew, T. Suthiwan, & I. Walker, Proceedings of CLaSIC 2010, Singapore, December 2-4, 721-737). Singapore: National University of Singapore, Centre for Language Studies.

Stahl, S. A. (2005). Four problems with teaching word meanings. Teaching and learning vocabulary: Bringing research to practice, 95-114.

Stanovich, K. E. (2009). Matthew effects in reading: Some consequences of individual differences in the acquisition of literacy. Journal of Education, 189(1-2), 23-55.

Whalen, D. H., & Zziga, E. (1994). Subjective familiarity of English word/name homophones. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 26, 402–408.

Williams, R., & Morris, R. (2004). Eye movements, word familiarity, and vocabulary acquisition. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 16(1-2), 312-339.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Contact:
Prof. Dr. İsmail Hakkı Mirici
Editor in Chief 

Near East University
Ataturk Faculty of Education
Dean

Near East Boulevard, 99138
Nicosia, TRNC
Mersin 10 - Turkey

E-mail: hakkimirici@gmail.com