Investigating types of reading used by native and non-native English readers on academic reading: an eye tracking study
Subject Categories::Q330 English as a second language
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AbstractThe purpose of this research was to investigate the types of reading used by native English readers on a sampled academic reading-into-writing task. Secondly, this study investigated the types of reading used by non-native English readers on the same academic reading-into-writing task. This study also compared the similarities and differences in the types of reading done by both native and non-native English readers. In particular, the research explored how the participants read the informative and non-informative paragraphs in the academic texts. The present study used Khalifa and Weir's model of reading (2009) as a framework to map the physical evidence from the eye tracking data to investigate the types of reading done by the students in relation to careful, selective and expeditious reading. A mixed method approach, which included eye-tracking technology, stimulated recalls, interviews and observations, was used in this study. Eye movements of the participants were tracked by Tobii X2 60 eye tracker while they read the three academic texts on a computer screen to prepare for a piece of academic writing. Immediately after they had completed reading each text, stimulated recalls and interviews were held and the purpose of these stimulated recalls was to triangulate the data obtained from eye tracking. A total of 32 participants were used in this study which included 16 native English readers and 16 non-native English readers. The eye tracking data was analysed quantitatively through the eye tracking measures that are the words read per minute, the number of fixations, the mean fixation duration and the proportion of regressive movements (same line regressions and regressions two lines or above). Qualitatively, eye tracking data was analysed through the heat maps and gaze plots. The results from the quantitative and qualitative eye tracking data suggested that the native readers read the informative paragraphs slower than the non-informative paragraphs, but different reasons were reported by them in the stimulated recalls for adopting a specific reading type. For the non-native readers, the results from the quantitative eye tracking data suggested that they read the informative paragraphs slower than the non-informative paragraphs. On the contrary, the qualitative eye tracking data suggested that they focused on both informative and non-informative paragraphs and there were similarities in the reasons reported by non-native readers for reading the informative and the non-informative paragraphs slowly. A comparison in the types reading used by L1 and L2 readers suggested that L2 readers read the informative and the non-informative paragraphs slower than L1 readers as suggested by the words read per minute and the mean fixation duration of the participants. Native readers made more same line regressions on informative and non-informative paragraphs than the non-native readers and the proportion of regressions two lines or above made by both groups was also negligible. The qualitative eye tracking data suggested that both groups read informative and non-informative paragraphs slowly, but native readers fixated more on both types of paragraphs than non-natives, as suggested by the heat maps and gaze plots. The data from the stimulated recalls and observations also suggested that both groups read the informative and the non-informative paragraphs with attention. To the best of the researcher's knowledge, this is the first study that evaluated the types of reading of L2 participants in an academic context. It contributes a methodology for investigating the types of reading used by the L2 students by employing different eye tracking measures and the stimulated recalls. According to the researcher's knowledge, this study contributes new knowledge about the reading speed (in terms of words read per minute) and other eye tracking measures of L2 readers on an academic reading-into-writing task. This study holds implications for the universities as the findings suggested that academic literacy skills training is required for both the native and non-native readers. The findings would also help to design preparatory tasks for the first-year undergraduates as a part of pre-sessional courses in the international universities or back in their home countries where they are trained for admission in international universities.
CitationSheraz, S. (2018) 'Investigating Types of Reading used by Native and Non-native English Readers on Academic Reading: An Eye Tracking Study'. PhD Thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
Description"A thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy"
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