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Using eye movements to investigate word frequency effects in children’s sentence reading

Joseph, H. S. S. L. ORCID:, Nation, K. and Liversedge, S. P. (2013) Using eye movements to investigate word frequency effects in children’s sentence reading. School Psychology Review, 42 (2). pp. 207-222. ISSN 0279-6015

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While eye movements have been used widely to investigate how skilled adult readers process written language, relatively little research has used this methodology with children. This is unfortunate as, as we discuss here, eye-movement studies have significant potential to inform our understanding of children’s reading development. We consider some of the empirical and theoretical issues that arise when using this methodology with children, illustrating our points with data from an experiment examining word frequency effects in 8-year-old children’s sentence reading. Children showed significantly longer gaze durations to low than high-frequency words, demonstrating that linguistic characteristics of text drive children’s eye movements as they read. We discuss these findings within the broader context of how eye-movement studies can inform our understanding of children’s reading, and can assist with the development of appropriately targeted interventions to support children as they learn to read.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Language and Literacy in Education
ID Code:43400
Publisher:National Association of School Psychologists

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