L2 Proficiency, Word Association and Interlingual Mediation among Tunisian M.A Students of English

Salha Henia


This experimental psycholinguistic study tried to gain insight into the organization of bilinguals’ L1 and L2 mental lexicons. It aimed to establish whether (a) adult native speakers of Tunisian Arabic’s responses to L1 cue words are predictable and homogeneous, (b) individuals are consistent in their L1 and L2 word association profiles, (c) there is a relationship between L2 proficiency and the degree of proximity between individuals’ L1 and L2 word association profiles, and (d) there is a relationship between L2 proficiency and the potential L1 interlingual mediation in the production of L2 associative responses. Participants were 40 Tunisian Master students of English. Qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used; a proficiency test, two word association tests in L1 and L2, a lexical decision task, and a retrospective interview were used. Implications for Word Association (WA) research and L2 language learning and teaching are drawn from the findings.











vocabulary. bilingualism. L2 proficiency. mental lexicon. word association behavior (profile). priming.

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