Professor Receives Research Award, Selected to EuroSLA Executive Committee

Aline Godfroid, Associate Professor of Second Language Studies and TESOL, is being recognized for her outstanding research in the area of second language acquisition and recently was elected to the Executive Committee of the European Second Language Association (EuroSLA) and will serve as Secretary of that committee. 

A leading scholar in the use of eye-tracking, Godfroid was named the 2019 recipient of the TESOL Award for Distinguished Research for her study, “Incidental vocabulary learning in a natural reading context: an eye-tracking study,” which was published in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition in May 2018.  

Godfroid’s article was selected by the TESOL International Association as the best TESOL-related, empirical research article appearing in 2018. The TESOL Award for Distinguished Research recognizes excellence in any area of research on language teaching and learning. Godfroid received this international award at the TESOL Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, in March 2019. 

Dr. Aline Godfroid

Her award-winning study responds to the call for more ecologically valid psycholinguistic research by examining how readers incidentally acquire multifaceted vocabulary knowledge while reading a long, authentic text. Using eye tracking, she explored how the processing of unfamiliar words changes with repeated exposure and how the repeated exposure and processing affect word learning. Godfroid conducted the study together with eight students enrolled in her graduate-level seminar on eye-tracking methodology.  

“A lot of learning was happening in the lab,” she said. “The participants in the study were learning new language, and at the same time, my graduate students were learning how to work with the eye tracker and collect quality data from them. I am pleased with how this teaching-research initiative turned out.”

I am looking forward to working with our European colleagues and to strengthening transatlantic ties in the applied linguistics community.


Godfroid began doing eye-movement research during her doctoral studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium and currently is the Co-Director of the Second Language Studies Eye-Tracking Lab at Michigan State University. She is the author of the book “Eye tracking in second language acquisition and bilingualism: A research synthesis and methodological guide,” which will be published with Routledge in November 2019. 

Godfroid specializes in cognitive processes in second language acquisition, teaching courses on L2 psycholinguistics, statistics, eye-tracking, vocabulary acquisition, and advanced research. Through her research, she seeks to build bridges between psychology, psycholinguistics, second language acquisition, and real-world second language learning.  

Godfroid was elected to the EuroSLA Executive Committee at the EuroSLA Annual General Meeting in Lund, Sweden, in August. Her two-year term runs from 2019-2021.  

“Becoming the EuroSLA Secretary is a great opportunity to take on a leadership role in my discipline,” she said. “I am looking forward to working with our European colleagues and to strengthening transatlantic ties in the applied linguistics community.”  

Group of nine people standing with each other on grass in front of green trees and buildings
Dr. Aline Godfroid (pictured far left) with the rest of the EuroSLA Executive Committee

The European Second Language Association is a society for people with research interests in second languages. It has grown from small beginnings to becoming a large international group of scholars. The association holds an annual conference and publishes the Journal of the European Second Language Association (JESLA) each year.  

Godfroid came to Michigan State University in January 2011 as an Assistant Professor in Second Language Studies in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages. She was promoted to Associate Professor in July 2017. She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Brussels in 2010.