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The University of Southampton
Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research

Eye tracking in Second Language Acquisition – an introduction Seminar

17:00 - 18:30
3 November 2021

Event details


The recording of eye movements, or eye tracking, has become an important tool for language researchers to probe real-time cognitive processes in first and second language speakers. Researchers turn to eye tracking for its millisecond precise temporal information and its high spatial resolution. As an exquisitely versatile tool, eye tracking has many applications across SLA disciplines and inspires new work, as well as new takes on old questions each year (see Godfroid, 2019, 2020; Godfroid & Hui, 2020; Godfroid, Winke, & Conklin, 2020, for reviews).

When participants engage in a language task, their eye gaze may provide a measure of their attentional allocation and linguistic processing (Godfroid, Boers & Housen, 2013; Just & Carpenter, 1980; Reichle, Pollatsek, & Rayner, 2006; Smith, 2012). With the help of recent research studies, I will illustrate how this information can be exploited in research on controlled versus automatic processing (Maie & Godfroid, in press), incidental vocabulary acquisition (Godfroid et al., 2013, 2019), and attention to form versus meaning (Lee, Son, & Godfroid, 2021). 

Overall, this talk will provide a gentle introduction to eye-tracking methodology paired with an update about recent work from the Second Language Studies Eye Tracking Lab.  I will render the depth and breadth of eye-tracking research in SLA, highlighting how the unique affordances of eye-movement registration have opened up, and continue to open up, new avenues for research in the field.

Speaker information

Aline Godfroid, Michigan State University. Aline Godfroid is an Associate Professor in Second Language Studies and TESOL at Michigan State University. Her primary research interests are in psycholinguistics, vocabulary, quantitative research methods, and eye-tracking methodology. Her research is situated at the intersection of cognitive psychology and second language acquisition and has appeared in numerous international, peer-reviewed journals. Aline Godfroid is Co-Director of the Second Language Studies Eye-Tracking Lab and the recipient of the 2019 TESOL Award for Distinguished Research and the co-recipient of the Best of the Modern Language Journal 2019. Her book Eye Tracking in Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism: A Research Synthesis and Methodological Guide was published by Routledge in 2020.

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