Chapter 12. Lexical access in bilinguals and second language learners

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In this chapter, a theoretical account of non-selectivity effects in word recognition with a particular emphasis on the second language (L2) learner is described. Non-selectivity is the idea that lexical items from both languages are activated simultaneously. The focus is on how L2 learners and bilinguals retrieve words in isolation and in a broader contexts (e.g., sentence contexts) that can constrain or facilitate word recognition, thereby leading to selective lexical access. This chapter also addresses how research on L2 word recognition can inform L2 teachers about the underlying mechanisms involved in lexical processing, specifically describing the types of vocabulary errors students make and offering some pedagogical principles that can guide the teaching of L2 vocabulary.


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