The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

Second Advisor

John P. Madden

Third Advisor

Roman A. Serrano

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

EFL, L2, reading, formulaic sequence, clicking behavior, gloss



With advancements in technology, reading task can take place on a computer, where a gloss is only a click away. A gloss can be consulted to find the meaning of any single word (SW) or formulaic sequence (FS). So how does this influence the L2 reader? In an attempt to understand the L2 reader, this study will use a within subject design to look at clicking behaviors, reading comprehension, and characteristics of the individual L2 readers as they complete the task of reading on the computer. This study focuses on 20 targeted lexical items equally distributed between single words (SW) and formulaic sequences (FS). In addition, 50% of these targets take the form of underlined, blue text to consider the properties of typographical saliency. One reading passage, embedded with hyperlinks for single words (SW) and formulaic sequences (FS), was given to 107 participants to read on the computer along with a multiple choice reading comprehension paper test of 20 questions. Statistical analysis surprisingly finds similarities and differences between single words (SW) and formulaic sequences (FS) in both clicking behaviors and reading comprehension scores. These results, demonstrates a need for further evaluation on how L2 readers perform in a reading task, involving single words (SW) and formulaic sequences (FS).



A wish of thanks goes out to all of the participants who took time out of their busy academic schedules to be a part of my study. I would also like to thank the teaching staff of the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and the Intensive English Center (IEC) programs at St. Cloud State University, who allowed me to elicit participants from their classrooms. My expression of gratitude goes to Dr. Cobb, who acknowledged the special requirements of my study and for his assistance in the use of the Hypertext2 tool that is available on his website, Compleat Lexical Tutor ( In addition, my work could not have been completed without the staff of the English Department and the Intensive English Center. Their assistance and use of the IEC computer lab was instrumental in the completion of this time sensitive study. A wish of thanks goes out to Dr. H. Bishop who has been a resource in my research. Lastly, I would like to express my appreciation to each of my committee members for their valuable time, guidance, and support; with a special thanks to my chairperson, Dr. C. Kim, for her assistance in running statistical analysis reports.