2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Using Eye Movements to Examine Word Frequency and Word Length Effects in Arabic Speakers Reading English
Mallory C. Stites
Dr. Robert Tigner, Faculty Mentor

The eye movements of Arabic speakers reading English were recorded to determine the effects of word frequency and length on their reading behaviors. The Arabic speakers were divided in three groups based on their reading level. The Low Arabic group showed long fixation durations, a low number of fixations per word and large amount of word skipping, suggesting they have difficulties reading English, especially LF words. The Middle Arabic group showed patterns different from both the English readers and other Arabic groups, including more fixations per word and lower amounts of word skipping, suggesting an intermediate stage of reading development. The High Arabic group showed frequency and length effects on almost all measures, similar to patterns expected of native English readers but with particular trouble on long words. These findings suggest that word frequency and length affect the Arabic readers differently depending on their level of English proficiency.

Keywords: reading, eye movements, Arabic speakers, word frequency

Topic(s):Psychology
Linguistics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 18-1
Location: VH 1010
Time: 9:45

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