Presentation Title

Foreign Language Learners and the Ability to Infer Word Meanings from Context

Presenter Information

Allison Nicole SoniaFollow

Presentation Type

Poster

School

School of Arts and Humanities

Discipline

Psychology

Mentor

Gary Bonitatibus

Abstract

Previous research on the topic of reading comprehension has examined how a person can acquire new vocabulary by seeing an unknown word in a text and inferring its meaning based on the context it is found in. This ability to infer a word’s meaning from context has been shown to correlate to one’s overall ability to comprehend while reading, their vocabulary size, and the strength of their working memory. Studies have also shown that the use of this technique can aid in learning a new language. The current study will administer an inference-making-while-reading-task to 30 college students who have experience learning a foreign language and 30 who do not. The hypothesis is that students with foreign language experience will perform better than their non language-learning peers on this task. If the hypothesis is supported, the implications are that foreign language learning can affect reading comprehension in the native language.

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Foreign Language Learners and the Ability to Infer Word Meanings from Context

Previous research on the topic of reading comprehension has examined how a person can acquire new vocabulary by seeing an unknown word in a text and inferring its meaning based on the context it is found in. This ability to infer a word’s meaning from context has been shown to correlate to one’s overall ability to comprehend while reading, their vocabulary size, and the strength of their working memory. Studies have also shown that the use of this technique can aid in learning a new language. The current study will administer an inference-making-while-reading-task to 30 college students who have experience learning a foreign language and 30 who do not. The hypothesis is that students with foreign language experience will perform better than their non language-learning peers on this task. If the hypothesis is supported, the implications are that foreign language learning can affect reading comprehension in the native language.