Concordia University

Fellowship Description

Research program title

Joint attention in second language learning

Reference number



Program description

This applied linguistics research program explores the complex relationships among the social and cognitive conditions that promote second language (L2) learning. The core objective is to identify how social and cognitive factors converge in ways that influence the degree to which learners benefit from interacting with peers and more proficient speakers. In terms of social factors, during face-to-face communication interlocutors initiate and respond to joint attention using eye gaze and gestures. Gestures have been shown to facilitate the learning of sound contrasts and words, and this research program explores whether eye gaze also helps L2 learners benefit from interacting with other speakers. Using eye-tracking technology, empirical studies investigate the social conditions under which interlocutors co-construct joint attention, and how joint attention helps L2 speakers benefit cognitively from interactional feedback, linguistic convergence, and attention to linguistic form during face-to-face communication. 

Academic qualifications required

  • PhD in Applied Linguistics, Second Language Studies, Psycholinguistics or related field
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