Intensive English Program Effects on Phonological/Semantic Word Recognition

| November 27, 2012
Intensive English Program Effects on Phonological/Semantic Word Recognition

Keywords: Word Priming, Semantic, Phonetic, TOEFL, EAP, Japan

Clay Williams
English for Academic Purposes Department
Akita International University, Japan

Bio Data
Clay Williams is presently employed as an assistant professor at Akita International University. He holds a PhD degree in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching from the University of Arizona. His research interests include psycholinguistic properties of reading, cross-script impacts of L2 literacy acquisition, and cross-cultural pedagogical adaptation.

This study tests the effects of an intensive (14 week) EAP program on students’ English language processing abilities. Using a lexical decision task in a pre/post test design, students’ susceptibility to L2 semantic and phonetic word priming was probed. The results will demonstrate that, despite the relatively short length of exposure, the students’ nevertheless realized a significant increase in susceptibility to phonological and semantic facilitation and interference. This is not a mere case of “learning new words” (as, indeed, the participants likely knew most of the vocabulary in the test well before entering the program), but instead demonstrates that students are strengthening neural connections to L2 vocabulary, and increasing in knowledge and ability to decode the English phonetic system. This study ultimately validates the usefulness of such programs for preparing students in English-medium course content.

[private] See page: 40-52

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Category: Monthly Editions, Volume 64