The Impact of Second Language Proficiency on Chinese ESL Learners’ English Word Recognition

  •  Lan Luan    
  •  Huili Wang    


This study investigated the impact of Chinese ESL learners’ second language (L2) proficiency on English word recognition in a lexical decision task. The study focused on the interaction among one between-participant variable (L2 proficiency) and three within-participant variables (orthographic neighborhood density, word frequency, and words/nonwords). ANOVA and two-tailed t-test indicated that: the accuracy (ACC) differences to orthographic neighborhood density (High/Low N), word frequency (High/Medium/Low F) and words/nonwords between high/low L2 proficiency (High/Low P) participants were significant respectively, while reaction time (RT) was not. In terms of ACC, highly-proficient Chinese ESL learners performed better using words with N, F, words/nonwords factors than low-proficient ones. In conclusion, higher L2 proficiency facilitated Chinese ESL learners’ English word recognition in a lexical decision task blocked by N, F, words/nonwords factors.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.