Lightning talk: Moving A Psycholinguistic Research Online during the Pandemic

Exploring L2 Sentence Processing Strategies of Late Learners and Heritage Speakers

This presentation reports a transition process of a psycholinguistic study focusing on sentence processing in English as a second language. A five-minute short talk is proposed in the form of a presentation with electronic PPT slides.

Before the year 2020, an online experiment through internet connection is not a favorite method for language processing research in psycholinguistics. People prefer to apply in-person methodologies such as eye-tracking for behavioral data collection. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many risks for human behavior research.
This study is originally designed to use an eye-tracking method to test the Shallow Structure Hypothesis which predicts a gradient difference in sentence processing strategies between native speakers and late L2 learners. The purpose is to explore how late and early bilinguals differ in terms of processing syntactic structures in L2 complex sentences. Due to the Pandemic, an online method replaces the previously proposed methodology. The presentation suggests remote data collection could be an alternative method of in-person experiments if the software device can realize proper functions for testing the rationale in the previous design of an eye-tracking experiment.