ERIC Number: ED327061
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Mental Load in Listening, Speech Shadowing and Simultaneous Interpreting: A Pupillometric Study.
Tommola, Jorma; Hyona, Jukka
This study investigated the sensitivity of the pupillary response as an indicator of average mental load during three language processing tasks of varying complexity. The tasks included: (1) listening (without any subsequent comprehension testing); (2) speech shadowing (repeating a message in the same language while listening to it); and (3) simultaneous interpreting into the subjects' dominant language. It was predicted that if pupillary dilation adequately reflects average mental load, the simple listening task should be associated with the lowest dilation levels, the highly complex simultaneous interpreting task should be associated with the highest dilation levels, and the shadowing task should fall between the two. Subjects were nine native Finnish-speaking third- and fourth-year students in the University of Turku (Finland), department of translation. All were highly fluent in English and had had a minimum of 1 year's training in simultaneous interpreting. Three English language texts were used as source texts. Pupillary responses were filmed. Dilation was associated with task difficulty as predicted. Mental load also appeared to be greatest at the beginning of each task. The measurement technique is seen as promising for describing interpreters' use of processing resources and the factors affecting real-time performance. (MSE)
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, College Students, Difficulty Level, English (Second Language), Finnish, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Interpreters, Interpretive Skills, Language Processing, Listening, Measurement Techniques, Pupillary Dilation, Research Methodology, Translation, Uncommonly Taught Languages
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: University of Turku (Finland)
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the World Congress of Applied Linguistics, sponsored by the International Association of Applied Linguistics (9th, Thessaloniki, Greece, April 15-21, 1990).