Selective attention of L2 learners in task-based reading online

Prichard, Caleb
Atkins, Andrew
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Selective attention to task-relevant content is an essential strategy for readers. There is evidence that proficient readers more often consider their purpose and focus attention selectively. However, eye tracking research has revealed several limitations with survey data on reading strategies, and few second language (L2) reading studies have explicitly examined selective attention. This study includes two experiments utilizing eye tracking to determine how Japanese university-aged learners read an online text to research specific information. The first experiment evaluates the reading strategies of the participants and examines the effect on task performance. The second experiment investigates the effect of strategy training. The eye tracking results in experiment one suggested that many participants did not display strategic competence. Selective attention and the number of reading strategies identified in the data correlated with task-performance. The second experiment revealed that strategy training increased the use of selective attention and improved task performance.
second language reading, reading strategies, eye tracking, selective attention, strategy training
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