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Title: Incidental learning of novel words in adult Spanish speaking learners of English as a second language : measures of lexical configuration and lexical engagement and the effects of learners' individual differences
Author: Garcia Castro, Veronica
ISNI:       0000 0004 7651 8973
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2018
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Studies on second language (L2) incidental vocabulary learning through reading have mainly focused on learning and testing factual static knowledge of recently learned words, that is, their form and meaning, often in isolation. Thus, little research has explored how through incidental reading newly learned words lexically engage (or interact) with other lexical levels (e.g. semantic and syntactic) and items in the bilingual mental lexicon. Moreover, the effects of learners' individual differences in incidental vocabulary learning and lexical engagement remain unexplored. The present work, therefore, aimed to contribute to the existing literature by examining the extent of L2 incidental vocabulary learning, not only through measures of lexical configuration (e.g. recognition and recall) but also via measures of lexical engagement (e.g. predicting upcoming linguistic material, making lexical decisions following semantic priming, and parsing temporarily ambiguous (garden-path) sentences) in adult Spanish speaking learners of English in comparison to a monolingual English speaking control group. The effects of phonological working memory (PWM), language aptitude, vocabulary size, and verbal fluency on lexical configuration and lexical engagement of recently learned pseudowords were also explored. Two offline studies on lexical configuration knowledge (e.g. recognition and recall vocabulary post-tests), and three online studies on lexical engagement of spoken form (e.g. visual-world eye-tracking paradigm), meaning (e.g. lexical decision task with priming), and grammatical use (e.g. eye-tracking study with text) of recently learned pseudowords were designed. A training/learning phase preceded the studies where participants read meaningful English sentences containing the target items. The results confirmed that L2 incidental vocabulary learning from reading reaches lexical engagement of form, meaning, and use in recently learned pseudowords. In addition, it corroborated that learners' individual differences have an effect on lexical configuration and lexical engagement of novel words. The findings contribute to existing theories on L2 vocabulary learning by demonstrating that incidental learning from reading can lead to lexical engagement, and thus to deeper understanding of word knowledge beyond factual memory.
Supervisor: Roberts, Leah ; Bolibaugh, Cylcia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available