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Studying texts in a non-native language : a further investigation of factors involved in the L2 recall cost

Heleen Vander Beken (UGent) , Ellen De Bruyne (UGent) and Marc Brysbaert (UGent)
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Abstract
With academic internationalisation at full speed, English is increasingly used as a medium of instruction in higher education. The question arises of whether unbalanced bilinguals remember study materials in a non-native language (L2) as well as in a first language (L1). In previous studies, we found a disadvantage for students recalling short, expository texts in L2 compared with L1, but no such disadvantage for a true/false recognition test, not even on delayed tests after a month. As no additional forgetting occurs, the quality of the memory trace seems to be equally strong in both languages and the recall cost might be caused by a lack of production skill in L2. To test this hypothesis, we ran experiments in L1-L1, L2-L1, and L2-L2 conditions with free and cued recall (short open questions). We replicate the L2 free recall cost reported earlier and show that it is due to the encoding in L2 rather than to an L2 production cost. In contrast, we found no significant difference in a new pair of texts with short, cued recall questions, though there was a trend in the expected direction. A summary of the effect sizes obtained so far shows a considerable variety in magnitudes (with rather big confidence intervals), suggesting that the cost of studying in L2 depends on several factors such as study time, test requirement, and language proficiency level.
Keywords
MEMORY, ACCESS, L1, COMPREHENSION, PROFICIENCY, BILINGUALS, VOCABULARY, 1ST, Bilingualism, learning from text, English as a medium of instruction, memory

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Citation

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MLA
Vander Beken, Heleen, et al. “Studying Texts in a Non-Native Language : A Further Investigation of Factors Involved in the L2 Recall Cost.” QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 73, no. 6, 2020, pp. 891–907, doi:10.1177/1747021820910694.
APA
Vander Beken, H., De Bruyne, E., & Brysbaert, M. (2020). Studying texts in a non-native language : a further investigation of factors involved in the L2 recall cost. QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, 73(6), 891–907. https://doi.org/10.1177/1747021820910694
Chicago author-date
Vander Beken, Heleen, Ellen De Bruyne, and Marc Brysbaert. 2020. “Studying Texts in a Non-Native Language : A Further Investigation of Factors Involved in the L2 Recall Cost.” QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 73 (6): 891–907. https://doi.org/10.1177/1747021820910694.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vander Beken, Heleen, Ellen De Bruyne, and Marc Brysbaert. 2020. “Studying Texts in a Non-Native Language : A Further Investigation of Factors Involved in the L2 Recall Cost.” QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 73 (6): 891–907. doi:10.1177/1747021820910694.
Vancouver
1.
Vander Beken H, De Bruyne E, Brysbaert M. Studying texts in a non-native language : a further investigation of factors involved in the L2 recall cost. QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. 2020;73(6):891–907.
IEEE
[1]
H. Vander Beken, E. De Bruyne, and M. Brysbaert, “Studying texts in a non-native language : a further investigation of factors involved in the L2 recall cost,” QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 73, no. 6, pp. 891–907, 2020.
@article{8676495,
  abstract     = {With academic internationalisation at full speed, English is increasingly used as a medium of instruction in higher education. The question arises of whether unbalanced bilinguals remember study materials in a non-native language (L2) as well as in a first language (L1). In previous studies, we found a disadvantage for students recalling short, expository texts in L2 compared with L1, but no such disadvantage for a true/false recognition test, not even on delayed tests after a month. As no additional forgetting occurs, the quality of the memory trace seems to be equally strong in both languages and the recall cost might be caused by a lack of production skill in L2. To test this hypothesis, we ran experiments in L1-L1, L2-L1, and L2-L2 conditions with free and cued recall (short open questions). We replicate the L2 free recall cost reported earlier and show that it is due to the encoding in L2 rather than to an L2 production cost. In contrast, we found no significant difference in a new pair of texts with short, cued recall questions, though there was a trend in the expected direction. A summary of the effect sizes obtained so far shows a considerable variety in magnitudes (with rather big confidence intervals), suggesting that the cost of studying in L2 depends on several factors such as study time, test requirement, and language proficiency level.},
  author       = {Vander Beken, Heleen and De Bruyne, Ellen and Brysbaert, Marc},
  issn         = {1747-0218},
  journal      = {QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY},
  keywords     = {MEMORY,ACCESS,L1,COMPREHENSION,PROFICIENCY,BILINGUALS,VOCABULARY,1ST,Bilingualism,learning from text,English as a medium of instruction,memory},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {891--907},
  title        = {Studying texts in a non-native language : a further investigation of factors involved in the L2 recall cost},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1747021820910694},
  volume       = {73},
  year         = {2020},
}

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