Insights into the processing of collocations during L2 English reading: evidence from eye movements

Li, H., Paterson, K.B., Warrington, K.L. ORCID: 0000-0003-3206-8002 and Wang, X., 2022. Insights into the processing of collocations during L2 English reading: evidence from eye movements. Frontiers in Psychology, 13: 845590. ISSN 1664-1078

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We report an eye movement experiment that investigates the effects of collocation strength and contextual predictability on the reading of collocative phrases by L2 English readers. Thirty-eight Chinese English as foreign language learners (EFL) read 40 sentences, each including a specific two-word phrase that was either a strong (e.g., black coffee) or weak (e.g., bitter coffee) adjective-noun collocation and was either highly predictable or unpredictable from the previous sentence context. Eye movement measures showed that L2 reading times for the collocative phrases were sensitive to both collocation strength and contextual predictability. However, an interaction effect between these factors, which appeared relatively late in the eye movement record, additionally revealed that contextual predictability more strongly influenced time spent reading weak compared with strong collocations. This was most likely because the greater familiarity of strong collocations facilitated their integration, even in the absence of strong contextual constraint. We discuss the findings in terms of the value of collocations in second language learning.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Frontiers in Psychology
Creators: Li, H., Paterson, K.B., Warrington, K.L. and Wang, X.
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Date: 30 March 2022
Volume: 13
ISSN: 1664-1078
Rights: Copyright © 2022 Li, Paterson, Warrington and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 13 Apr 2022 15:21
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2022 15:21

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