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Sean McCarron

BA, MSc (Cognitive Science of Language)

DPhil Candidate

My Research

I study print exposure (how much you read), bilingual proficiency, reading comprehension, and vocabulary knowledge—in particular, the language of books. Reading for pleasure is one of the best ways to improve your language skills, but we all wish we could read more than we do—which is why it's hard to simply ask someone how much they read and get a straight answer. Common tests of print exposure are thus generally proxies for reading experience, but they also tend to be validated using native English-speaking university students, ignoring much of the variation in linguistic and educational backgrounds. I am developing a test which hopefully may remedy this. I am also investigating how the kind of reading we do changes how skilled we become in our second or additional languages.

My Background

In October 2020, I began my doctoral studies in Experimental Psychology in the ReadOxford lab at the University of Oxford, under the supervision of Professor Kate Nation and Professor Victoria Murphy (Department of Education).

From 2018 to 2020, I worked in The Centre for Advanced Research in Experimental and Applied Linguistics (ARiEAL), and I was a member of the Reading Lab at McMaster University, under the supervision of Professor Victor Kuperman.

Fun (?) Facts About Me

  • I have four bright & beautiful young children
  • I have worked as a cartoonist and illustrator for years, and published a kids graphic novel series
  • I used to sing and play the fiddle in a folk band

Research articles

McCarron, S. P., & Kuperman, V. (2022). Effects of Year of Post-Secondary Study on Reading Skills for L1 and L2 Speakers of English. Journal of Research in Reading.

McCarron, S. P., & Kuperman, V. (2021). Is the author recognition test a useful metric for native and non-native English speakers? An item response theory analysis. Behavior Research Methods, 1-12.

Research interests

  • psycholinguistics

  • psychometrics of literacy

  • print exposure

  • L2 acquisition & proficiency

  • corpus linguistics & sentiment analysis

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