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Eye-Tracking and the Visual World Paradigm

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Designing Research on Bilingual Development


This chapter will focus on the use of eye-tracking in the visual world paradigm. This method can be employed to investigate a number of language comprehension issues, and we will begin with a brief overview of the history of the method and some of the applications. More centrally, we will discuss how it can be used to assess the impact of cross-linguistic interference, proficiency levels, and age of onset in L2 acquisition and L1 attrition, with an introduction to the issues that are involved in designing a study using this technique. As a case in point, we present and discuss the specific experiment employed within the multi-task, multi-language and multi-lab study on which this book is based, with special attention to the issues for analysis that arise when data from multiple systems must be combined.

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  1. 1.

    Targets will be presented in italics throughout.

  2. 2.

    Irrespective of the frequency of the chosen items, it is highly advisable to ensure that all participants know all of the words, see Sect. 5.3.3.

  3. 3.

    Recall that our audio files were standardized with respect to the length of the fragment that precedes the target.

  4. 4.

    Since each trial was preceded by a fixation cross, participants tended to fixate the center of the screen in the beginning of a trial.

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Correspondence to Sanne M. Berends .

5.1 Electronic Supplementary Material

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Eyetracking (ZIP 1380 kb)

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Berends, S.M., Brouwer, S.M., Sprenger, S.A. (2016). Eye-Tracking and the Visual World Paradigm. In: Designing Research on Bilingual Development. SpringerBriefs in Linguistics. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-11528-3

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