An eye-tracking study examining the contributions of characteristics of the reader and characteristics of the task to young children’s listening comprehension ability
Abstract: This study used eye-tracking technology to determine the extent to which young children fixate on pictures that are consistent/inconsistent with auditory stories and questions. More specifically, we recorded the eye movements of 53 children, 4.2-7.25 years old, as they viewed three pictures on a screen that were either consistent/inconsistent with an auditory story. The first results showed, that for questions that were answered correctly, children spent significantly more time viewing pictures that were consistent with the story than pictures that were inconsistent. Conversely, when the questions were answered incorrectly, there was no difference in viewing time between consistent/inconsistent pictures. However, a different pattern emerged when these results were analyzed as a function of age. That is, for two groups of children (i.e. children who were between 5–5.99 years and children were over 6 years old) viewing time was significantly higher for pictures consistent with the story than for the other three dependent measures (the inconsistent pictures for questions answered correctly and both the consistent and inconsistent pictures for questions answered incorrectly). In contrast, for children who were less than 5 years old, there was no evidence that they spent more viewing time on consistent pictures for questions answered correctly.
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