Word segmentation by alternating colors facilitates sentence reading for Chinese children: Evidence from eye movements

Yongqiang SU, Jinger PAN, Ming YAN, Hong LI

Research output: Other contributionOther contributions

Abstract

Previous studies showed that word recognition played an important role in children’s reading comprehension. However, the word boundary information is not marked explicitly in Chinese, this introduces difficulty to parse words when reading Chinese text, especially for beginning readers. The present study aimed to explore the facilitates of the alternating-color word on sentences reading of Chinese children. A total of 42 third grade children were asked to read 78 sentences and their eye-movements were recorded. The experiment was a 3 (text types: mono-color, alternating-color word, alternating-color non-word) × 3 (word segmentation ability: poor, median, good) mixed design. For the text types, mono-color sentences were presented in black normally, alternating-color word was assigned to match word boundaries by red and green, alternating-color non-word characters were grouped into non-words by color. The results showed that compared with mono-color, children’s first-fixations landed closer to the word center, fixation duration significantly reduced and children made fewer reflections under the alternating-color word condition. In contrast, their executed much shorter saccades in the alternating-color non-word condition than mono-color. In addition, children with a highest word segmentation ability showed the largest benefits. These results indicated that third grade children generally benefit from marking explicit word boundary. Color information may provide an extra visual cue to help children to segment the words and facilitate word recognition when they reading Chinese text. Copyright © 2020 ARWA.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Citation

Su, Y., Pan, J., Yan, M., & Li, H. (2020, September). Word segmentation by alternating colors facilitates sentence reading for Chinese children: Evidence from eye movements [Zoom]. Poster presented at the 4th Annual Conference for the Association for Reading and Writing in Asia (ARWA 2020), Beijing, China.

Keywords

  • Alternating colors
  • Word boundary
  • Chinese

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