Orthography and the development of reading processes: an eye-movement study of Chinese and English.


Journal Article

As children become proficient readers, there are substantial changes in the eye movements that subserve reading. Some of these changes reflect universal developmental factors while others may be specific to a particular writing system. This study attempts to disentangle effects of universal and script-dependent factors by comparing the development of eye movements of English and Chinese speakers. Third-grade (English: mean age = 9.1 years, n = 23; Chinese: mean age = 9.4 years, n = 25), fifth-grade (English: mean age = 11.2 years, n = 30; Chinese: mean age = 11.4, n = 25), and undergraduate students (English: n = 26; Chinese: n = 30) read stories in their native language while their eye movements were recorded. Results show a mixture of orthography-dependent factors with others that are remarkably parallel across these two very different writing systems. Orthographic effects are also more pronounced for children than for skilled adult readers. Implications for theories of reading eye movements and reading development are discussed.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Feng, G; Miller, K; Shu, H; Zhang, H

Published Date

  • May 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 80 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 720 - 735

PubMed ID

  • 19489899

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19489899

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-8624

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-3920

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01293.x


  • eng