2.2. Ethical considerations when researching language learning processes

Profile picture of Dr Ana Sánchez-Pellicer.

Source: Dr Sánchez-Pellicer

Seminar on the 12th October 2022.

Investigating cognitive processes in language learning: The use of eye tracking and related ethical considerations

In this online seminar Dr Ana Pellicer-Sánchez from UCL explores ethical considerations in research into vocabulary and language learning.


In the last decade, the field of second language acquisition has witnessed an increase in the number of studies using eye-tracking to examine the cognitive processes involved in language learning. Eye-tracking allows researchers to record learners’ eye movements while completing a task on a computer screen and provides a very rich record of online processing behaviour. It is increasingly used in the field as a measure of cognitive effort. In this presentation I will provide an introduction to the eye-tracking technique, as well as a brief overview of some of its applications in language learning research, with a particular focus on vocabulary learning. The last part of the presentation will discuss the ethical considerations in this type of research.

Dr Ana Pellicer-Sánchez is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL at the IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, UK. Her research focuses on the teaching and learning of vocabulary in a second/foreign language. Her recent research has used eye tracking to examine cognitive processes involved in vocabulary learning, with a particular focus on learning from reading. She is co-author of An Introduction to Eye-tracking: A Guide for Applied Linguistics Research (CUP) and co-editor of Understanding Formulaic Language (Routledge).


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