Resolution of gender cue conflict by Arabic-speaking learners of English: an eye-tracking study

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dc.contributor Morett, Laura
dc.contributor Poole, Robert
dc.contributor.advisor Liu, Dilin DeCook, Elena 2020-09-30T17:24:40Z 2020-09-30T17:24:40Z 2020
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0003594
dc.identifier.other DeCook_alatus_0004M_14180
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract While every English learner experiences the learning process differently, some phenomena are more common for learners from specific L1 groups. In the case of this study, speakers of Arabic as an L1 often find that reading in English presents a level of difficulty beyond that of speaking, listening, or writing. Many theories have been suggested to explain this occurrence, especially theories that hinge on the differences between the writing systems and phonology of the two languages. Research on the differences between Arabic L1 and English L1 readers on the syntactic level is less common, but information about higher-order processes is no less essential to understanding how Arabic L1 English learners approach reading. This study was conducted in order to better understand how this learner population processes written text in English. This procedure examines how Arabic L1 and English L1 readers react to gender cue mismatching in written materials by using eye tracking technology. Specifically, the study consists of an experiment that follows the guidelines of Kreiner, Sturt & Garrod (2008) to assess how Arabic L1 learners of English are affected by gender mismatches between reflexive pronouns and the nouns they reference. Sentences were presented in 2x2 conditions: the subject of each was either a definitionally-gendered noun, like “queen,” or a stereotypically-gendered one, like “nurse,” and each sentence contained a reflexive pronoun that either matched or mismatched the gender of the noun. An infrared eye-tracking camera was used to determine the location of participants’ gazes over time while reading. The resulting data was analyzed to determine the effects of both conditions on Arabic L1 English learners in contrast to native English speakers. Results indicate that Arabic L1 English learners are affected by gender cue conflict, but the processing costs incurred by resolving that conflict are incurred later in the reading process in comparison to L1 English speakers. This is consistent with eye-tracking results derived from other non-native English readers and presents new evidence of processing differences on the syntactic level between Arabic L1 and English L1 readers. Implications for pedagogy and future research are discussed.
dc.format.extent 65 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other English as a second language
dc.title Resolution of gender cue conflict by Arabic-speaking learners of English: an eye-tracking study
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. Department of English English The University of Alabama master's M.A.

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