Thinking-Aloud as Talking-in-Interaction: Reinterpreting How L2 Lexical Inferencing Gets Done
There is a general consensus among second-language (L2) researchers today that lexical inferencing (LIF) is among the most common techniques that L2 learners use to generate meaning for unknown words they encounter in context. Indeed, claims about the salience and pervasiveness of LIF for L2 learners rely heavily upon data obtained via concurrent think-aloud (TA) research methods. However, despite the consensus that L2 LIF involves a combination of cues, knowledge, and contextual awareness, a crucial aspect of that “context”— namely, the in situ context of TA data collection procedures themselves—is rarely, if ever, included in analyses presented in L2 LIF research studies. I argue in this article that acknowledging this reality and incorporating aspects of this in situ context into analysis is both important and desirable, as it would contribute vital elements of research transparency and legitimacy as well as a much needed reflexivity about claims regarding L2 LIF that are made based on TA data.
from Language Learning