Attentional processing of different types of target language input, the amount of input learners need and the role of working memory in processing input

13th November 2018

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Applied Linguistics

Speaker: Dr Bimali Indrarathne (Kings College London)

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room G

Convener: Hamish Chalmers, Departmental Lecturer Applied Linguistics

When learning a second/foreign language, learners receive different types of target language input which are mainly categorised into explicit and implicit.

Receiving input is inadequate for learning, paying attention to target language features in the input is a necessary condition. SLA research has studied various aspects related to input processing; however, there are some areas which need more investigation. For example, (1) if explicit and implicit types of input are equally beneficial in drawing learners’ attention to input and in subsequent learning gains, (2) if the amount of exposure learners need of a target language feature differs based on the type of input they receive and (3) how cognitive aspects such as working memory abilities influence the way in which learners process input. I will discuss these aspects based on three empirical studies conducted in Sri Lanka and highlight how eye-tracking can be used in studying attentional processing of input.