CALPER Webinar: “Learning and Memorizing Vocabulary: Mental Lexicon Development in L2 Learners”

Tuesday, March 5, 2024
4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
CALPER Webinar: “Learning and Memorizing Vocabulary: Mental Lexicon Development in L2 Learners”

Jiang Liu, University of South Carolina

This is the third session of 2024 CALPER Professional Development Webinar Series: Advances in World Language Pedagogy.


This webinar will provide an overview of research in lexeme learning that includes phonological, semantic, and orthographic forms of a word and its implications on L2 vocabulary learning. When learning L2 vocabulary, learners often come across words that share similar or same pronunciation with distinct orthography or same orthography with different pronunciation. By studying learners’ mental representation of newly learned words their connections to previously learned words, we show that learners are sensitive to phonological similarity among words, and it can facilitate their vocabulary learning. We targeted on L1 English-L2 Chinese learners’ acquisition of spoken and written forms of vocabulary. We will demonstrate concrete examples of activity types for teaching vocabulary such as making tweaks to direct students’ attention to orthography-pronunciation association or meaning-pronunciation association. 


Jiang Liu is an Associate Professor of Chinese and linguistics at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. He holds a doctorate in linguistics from the University of Kansas. His research focuses on mental lexicon development with the goal of addressing the gap between psycholinguistic research findings in mental lexicon and teaching practice. Contact him at to learn more about his research and teaching. 

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