Jieun (Irene) Ahn

Jieun (Irene) Ahn

My name is Jieun (Irene) Ahn, and I am a PhD candidate in the Second Language Studies (SLS) Program at Michigan State University. I was awarded a full research assistantship for the SLS program and worked as a research assistant under Drs. Susan Gass, Paula Winke, and Aline Godfroid. Before this, I received a BA in English Language and Literature and an MA in Teaching Korean as a Foreign Language, both from Ewha Womans University, South Korea.My research interests revolve around psycholinguistic approaches in second language acquisition and the use of eye-tracking methodology to investigate various L2-related issues. I am interested in how cognitive processes (i.e., attention, awareness, and noticing) change in second language acquisition and how learner-external and learner-internal factors affect the changes in cognitive processes. My work specifically addresses questions like the following: How do cognitive processes change over time in implicit and explicit learning? How do cognitive processes change during incidental vocabulary learning? How does working memory affect L2 development? How do we measure implicit and explicit knowledge?I have employed psycholinguistic techniques, such as eye-tracking and reaction times, to explore these research questions. During the SLS program, I participated in three eye-tracking studies, two of which have been published or accepted at leading journals, namely, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition and Language Learning and Technology.For my dissertation, I attempt to combine methods from artificial grammar learning and naturalistic exposure to investigate the effects of first language (L1) knowledge on the implicit and explicit learning of L2 syntax by using eye-tracking methodology. L1 English and L1 Korean speakers read two chapters from an English novel (The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie) that was rewritten in Koreanish—English words rearranged according to Korean syntax. To collect data from these two different language groups, I obtained a personal portable eye-tracker, the Portable Duo (by SR research), and set up the first satellite version of the Second Language Studies Eye-tracking Lab (shown on the right-hand side of the picture). Having finished collecting data from 80 participants, I am very much looking forward to examining the different sources of data (eye movements, verbal reports, and grammaticality judgements), which is likely to unveil multifaceted insights into implicit and explicit learning.I plan to defend my dissertation in the spring of 2019. After completing my PhD studies, my goal is to remain in academia and pursue a career in a research-oriented university. I look forward to the next chapter of my academic journey.
·       Godfroid, A., Ahn, J., Choi, I., Ballard, L., Cui, Y., Johnston, S., Lee, S., Sarkar, A., & Yoon, H. (2018). Incremental vocabulary learning in a natural reading context: An eye-tracking study. Bilingualism:Language and Cognition21(3), 563-584.·       Gass, S., Winke, P., Isbell, D., & Ahn, J. (in press). How captions help people learn languages: A working-memory, eye-tracking study. Language Learning and Technology.·       Godfroid, A., Ahn, J., Rebuschat, P., & Dienes, Z. Development of explicit knowledge from artificial language learning: Evidence from eye movements (in preparation).