Analyzing Learner Understanding of Novel L2 Vocabulary

Rebecca Knowles, Adithya Renduchintala, Philipp Koehn, Jason Eisner
Johns Hopkins University


In this work, we explore how learners can infer second-language noun meanings in the context of their native language. Motivated by an interest in building interactive tools for language learning, we collect data on three word-guessing tasks, analyze their difficulty, and explore the types of errors that novice learners make. We train a log-linear model for predicting our subjects' guesses of word meanings in varying kinds of contexts. The model's predictions correlate well with subject performance, and we provide quantitative and qualitative analyses of both human and model performance.