2015 Volume 26 Pages 63-74
The present study attempted to investigate whether or not Japanese learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) process congruent (i.e., being able to translate directly from first language (L1) into second language (L2)) collocations faster than incongruent (i.e., not being able to translate directly from L1 into L2) ones in order to ascertain the learners are capable of utilizing the cognitive advantage of congruent collocations in sentence processing. A self-paced reading task was administered to twenty one Japanese EFL learners to assess reaction times to words and collocations, and the reaction times were analyzed. There were no statistically significant differences of reaction times between congruent collocations and incongruent ones. At the same time, however, a delayed effect was detected in that Japanese EFL learners processed words immediately after congruent collocations significantly faster than those immediately after incongruent ones. The results suggest that Japanese EFL learners are capable of utilizing the cognitive advantage of processing congruent collocations in a sentence.