ERIC Number: ED218594
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
The Span of Letter Recognition of Good and Poor Readers. Technical Report No. 251.
Underwood, N. Roderic
Thus far the several different strategies that have been employed to investigate the size of the perceptual span during reading have not yet resolved the question of whether good readers have a larger span than poor readers. An investigation was designed to determine the region of text from which letter information is used during a fixation of the eyes. Eight good readers and eight poor readers from the fifth grade participated in the study. A computer based laboratory system was used for displaying the texts to be read and for monitoring and recording the eye movement patterns of the subjects engaged in reading. Results indicated that both groups acquired letter information from a region of text extending from two letters to the left of the center of fixation to about six letters to the right. The average reading rate of the poor readers was about 70% of that for the good readers, while durations of fixations made by poor readers in the control condition were approximately 30% longer than the fixation durations of the good readers. Finally, the average lengths of saccades of the poor readers was about 25% shorter than those made by the good readers. There was no evidence to suggest that skilled readers utilized letter information from a wider region of text than did less able readers. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.