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Attentional Processing of Input in Different Input Conditions: an Eye Tracking Study

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Abstract

Published
Publication date3/07/2015
Original languageEnglish
EventBAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG Conference - University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 2/07/20153/07/2015
http://www.intranet.education.ed.ac.uk/Research/Conferences/BAALSIG2015/

Conference

ConferenceBAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period2/07/153/07/15
Internet address

Abstract

The aim of the study reported in this presentation was to investigate how learners pay attention to target items in written L2 input in different input conditions and as a result how their knowledge of a target construction changes. We investigated this in an eye-tracking study conducted with 100 adult L2 learners. Four experimental groups received different types of input: unenhanced (unenhanced only), textually enhanced (enhanced only), textually enhanced with specific instructions asking participants to pay attention to the highlighted construction (enhanced+ instructions) and explicit explanation of the target construction in addition to enhancement and instructions (enhanced+ instruction+ explanation).

The unenhanced only and enhanced only groups demonstrated a random pattern of total fixation duration (TFD) and difference between observed and expected total fixation duration (DTFD). The enhanced +instructions and enhanced+ instructions+ explanationgroups, however, showed a high TFD and DTFD at the beginning of the exposure. Parallel to this, statistically significant increase in the pre-post test gain score was observed in enhanced+ instructions and enhanced+ instructions+ explanation groups compared to the control and the unenhanced only groups. TFD and DTFD showed a significant correlation with the gain score of enhanced+ instructions+ explanation group and also DTFD with the gain score of enhanced+ instructions and enhanced only groups. The findings indicate that unenhanced or enhanced only input was not effective in improving performance in the post-test. Either specific instruction to pay attention to target features in the input or explicit explanation was needed for measurable gains in knowledge.