Studies in Second Language Acquisition



A Modified Replication of Lee (2007) with Eye-Movement Data

Paula M. Winke 

Michigan State University


In his 2007 study “Effects of Textual Enhancement and Topic Familiarity on Korean EFL Students’ Reading Comprehension and Learning of Passive Form,” Lee demonstrated that learners were better able to correct written sentences that contained incorrect English passive forms after exposure to texts flooded with enhanced (versus nonenhanced) passive forms. But with enhanced forms, learners did worse on comprehension tests, which arguably demonstrated a trade-off: More attention to forms resulted in less to meaning. In this study, a conceptual replication of Lee’s using eye-movement data, I assessed how English passive construction enhancement affects English language learners’ (a) learning of the form (via pre- and posttest gains on passive construction tests) and (b) text comprehension. In contrast to Lee’s results, I found enhancement did not significantly increase form correction gain scores, nor did enhancement significantly detract from comprehension. There was no trade-off effect. Form learning and comprehension did not correlate. By recording learners’ eye movements while reading, I found enhancement significantly impacted learners’ noticing of the passive forms through longer gaze durations and rereading times. Thus, enhancement in this study functioned as intuitively and originally (Sharwood Smith, 1991, 1993) proposed; it promoted noticing, but, in this case, without further explicit instruction, it appeared to have done little else.


Correspondence should be sent to Dr. Paula Winke, Department of Linguistics and Languages, B252 Wells Hall, 619 Red Cedar Road, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824; E-mail:


  I presented this article at the American Association of Applied Linguistics Conference in Chicago, Illinois, in March 2011. I would like to thank Grace Lee Amuzie and Sehoon Jung for their many contributions to this research. I would also like to recognize Aline Godfroid and two anonymous SSLA reviewers whose comments and suggestions helped me greatly in revising this article. Any mistakes, however, are my own.