This study was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant 5R03HD051909-02 to the first author and by National Science Foundation Grant BCS 00-79973 to the second author.
Orthography and the Development of Reading Processes: An Eye-Movement Study of Chinese and English
Version of Record online: 15 MAY 2009
© 2009, Copyright the Author(s). Journal Compilation © 2009, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 80, Issue 3, pages 720–735, May/June 2009
How to Cite
Feng, G., Miller, K., Shu, H. and Zhang, H. (2009), Orthography and the Development of Reading Processes: An Eye-Movement Study of Chinese and English. Child Development, 80: 720–735. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01293.x
- Issue online: 15 MAY 2009
- Version of Record online: 15 MAY 2009
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.