Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Gita Martohardjono

Committee Members

Alberta Gatti

Beatriz Lado

Subject Categories

Applied Linguistics | First and Second Language Acquisition | Language Interpretation and Translation | Modern Languages | Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics | Reading and Language


Interlinear translations, James Hamilton, glossing, cognitive load theory, L2 reading, word recall


The use of translation in language teaching has been a source of controversial debate, nevertheless, glossing—and, specifically, interlinear glossing—remains an understudied type of materials, despite having been used by learners and teachers of foreign languages since at least 1000 C.E. (Bata, Gwara & Porter, 1997). In the absence of a comprehensive literature review tracing the history of interlinear glossing, as well as the absence of enough empirical studies addressing the effect of glossing on cognitive effort in language learning, the present work aims at exploring the role of first language glossing in facilitating reading by describing the results of an intervention using different reading conditions in an English reading programme. In the experiment, a group of undergraduate participants, whose L1 was Spanish, were assigned to one of three experimental conditions: reading a text in English with a Spanish translation using either interlinear, construed or columnar glossing. A translation task of the same text into L1 followed immediately, and the same translation was repeated eight days after. Independent measures ANOVA reveal an increase of translated words for the interlinear over the other two conditions, which is consistent with the hypothesis that interlinear glossing allows explicit focus on meaning retrieval due to a reduction in the cognitive load of working memory, and the split attention effect between the L2 text and its corresponding translation in a separate page. This study aims to enrich our current understanding of the impact of glossing layouts on cognitive processing.

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