Irina Elgort's visit and talk


Wednesday, 27 September, 2023 - 11:00 to 12:00
Words live in the mind… How do they get there?
Irina Elgort
Victoria University of Wellington/Te Herenga Waka
Studies that investigate second and foreign language (L2) learning have identified several variables that affect outcomes of word learning from written input, but these findings are not always consistent. Resolving these inconsistencies is important both theoretically (e.g., in modelling L2 learning) and for applied reasons (e.g., developing instructional methods). Reading affords vocabulary learning opportunities but, in L2, learning from input also presents many challenges. University students, for example, are expected to acquire both conceptual and linguistic knowledge from course readings. Yet, affordances of contextual word learning are modulated by readers’ language proficiency, including their vocabulary size and quality of lexical knowledge. In a nutshell, L2 readers must bring enough lexical knowledge to reading, in order to be able to get new lexical knowledge from reading. In this talk, I will consider how L2 contextual word learning is modulated by complex interrelationships between learner, text, and task variables. Based on our findings in this ongoing line of research, we’ll take another look at key predictors of contextual word learning and how adult L2 readers may build their lexical knowledge from reading.