Leader: M. von Grunau
Linked Researchers: Ammar, Ahlem ; Aulls, Mark W. ; Brodeur, Monique ; Cobb, Thomas Michael ; Cousineau, Denis ; Daigle, Daniel ; De Almeida, Roberto ; French, Leif ; Gatbonton, Elizabeth ; Horst, Mary Elizabeth ; Johnson, Aaron ; London, Joanna ; Mcdonough, Kim ; Meuter, Renata ; Phillips, Natalie ; Segalowitz, Norman S. ; Shore, Bruce M ; Trofimovich, Pavel ; Turner, Carolyn
Fluency and Cognitive Efficiency: The scientific focus of this axis is to understand the perceptual, cognitive and neurocognitive mechanisms underlying skill learning and performance, especially fluency in performance. Fluency is important for many educational competencies, including reading, second language, mathematics, critical thinking, use of technology, scientific reasoning. Learners who fail to reach some threshold of fluency may find that putting knowledge into action requires so much effort that they become demotivated. In contrast, being able to perform fluently can facilitate more learning by making access to newer knowledge easier. Underlying performance fluency is a cognitive fluency, that is, highly efficient modes of cognitive processing, without which performance fluency would not be possible. The applied focus of this axis is to provide appropriate operational definitions for the mechanisms of perception, cognition and motivation for use in the CSLP's applied research.
Some Theme Areas:
Automatic and attention-based processes in language and vision: This theme is concerned with understanding the role that highly efficient (automatic) processing and that attention-based (controlled) processes play in the learning and execution of high level performance when using language and when relying on visual processes in reading, in categorizing objects in the world, and in navigating the environment. The research focuses on developing ways to operationally define automatic and attention-based processing in first and second language reading, and in general second language use. The research also includes statistical analyses of reaction time distributions as a way to identify automatic components of processing, as well as the analysis of eye-movements during reading and visual search as reflections of automatic and attention-based processes. These automatic and attention-based processes are fundamental to proficient skill in language use and in the use of technology in learning contexts.
Basic processes in second language speech: This theme is concerned with understanding the relationships of basic cognitive psychological processes - memory, phonological perception, and grammatical processing - to various aspects of second language speech production. The focus of this theme is the characteristics of second language speech fluency - the rate of speech, hesitation and pausing phenomena - that can vary from one person to another. The goal of the work carried out under this theme is to understand how cognitive skills can affect the ability to speak with a certain degree of fluency in a second language. Another focus of the theme is to understand in terms of these cognitive considerations how different learning experiences in the classroom and in natural settings can promote or fail to promote second language speech fluency.