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Eye movements of children during reading

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Abstract

The present study was designed to produce a table of norms of' fixations, regressions and rates of reading, expressed as lengths of film in inches. While other eye-movements measures, such as span of recognition, are included in various studies, these are not given in the present investigation. The reason for this is that such measures are calculated from" the measures used here and secondly the use of these other measures make assumptions regarding their authenticity which are not always verified by investigations. Fixations, regressions and reading time are fully objective and require no hypothesis of central thought processes to explain their supposed function. The instrument used was the Ophthalmograph manufactured by the American Optical Co. The eye-movements are recorded by the corneal reflex method on a moving strip of film which moves through the camera at a constant speed of .327 inches per second. The reading cards were 5 in. x 3 in., the largest size of card usable with this apparatus. The text of the Test Card is an adaptation from "Claudius the Bee" by J. F. Leeming. Three hundred children attending schools in Durham County were tested, there being fifty children in each of the age groups from eight to thirteen years inclusive. Every child tested was required to read the Burt Graded Vocabulary Scale to their chronological age level before being accepted for testing. The means of the eye-movement measures for each age group are shown in the tables together with the highest and lowest score in each year group, and also the range. All measures are for twelve lines of reading. The graphs show the averages for each eye-measure for all the age groups. The measures obtained are also calculated to produce norms of eye movements, according to reading age, and also according to reading age within each chronological age group. An-evaluation is made of the eye-movement camera, as a clinical tool and future lines of research suggested.

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