New Publication in Reading Research Quarterly: Reading text when studying in a second language: An eye-tracking study

In this study, we investigated how eye movements are influenced by different text reading goals in participants’ first and second language (L1, L2). Participants had to read or study the contents of texts while their eye movements were recorded. One group was asked to read texts in L1 and L2 as they would read any expository text (informative reading). Another group was asked to study L1 and L2 texts for subsequent tests involving true/false questions (study condition). After reading, all participants (including those in the informative reading condition) completed the true/false tests without being able to further consult the texts. This allowed us to investigate to what extent reading goal and text language affect recognition memory for texts. In general, more reading time was spent on studying than on informative reading, which also resulted in higher test scores in the study condition. The L2 processing cost was larger in the study condition than in the informative reading condition: participants needed about 20% more time to study L2 texts. The results of various eye movement measures suggest that this is caused by slower word recognition processes and a smaller amount of information that can be processed simultaneously in L2. This was true not only for the first reading of the text, but also for the rereadings in the study condition. Interestingly, the additional time for L2 studying seemed to compensate for the less efficient processing, as the recognition test scores were the same in L2 as in L1.

Keywords: bilingualism, eye tracking, text processing, reading goal

Dirix, N., Vander Beken, H., De Bruyne, E., Brysbaert, M., & Duyck, W. (in press). Reading text when studying in a second language: An eye-tracking study. Reading Research Quarterly. Impact Factor: 2.696. Ranking Q1 (top 10%). PDF available here

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation