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

Bimali Indrarathne, Judit Kormos

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Event11th Annual Conference of the BAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG The Languages of Language Learning - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jul 2015 → …


Conference11th Annual Conference of the BAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG The Languages of Language Learning
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period3/07/15 → …

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