A Comparison of Reading Processing Patterns of EFL Learners: An Eye-Tracking Study

Document Type : research article


1 PhD Student of TEFL, Alborz Campus, University of Tehran, and Instructor of English Language Department, ZAUMS

2 Associate Professor, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of Tehran, Iran


This study aimed to investigate the reading processing patterns of EFL learners applying Eye-tracker. 16 undergraduate students in two groups of advanced (n=8) and beginner (n=8) participated in this study. They were asked to read two types of readings as culturally familiar/unfamiliar schemata-oriented tasks defined for the eye-tracker. The obtained heat maps indicted that the advanced group skipped the onset and end of the sentences in culturally familiar tasks, while the beginners did not. On the other hand, in culturally unfamiliar tasks, both groups followed approximately the same patterns, that is, unfamiliar schemata had made the tasks more complex. As the next step, through an oral interview, the underlying causes of their eye movements were inquired and listed. The findings also asserted that the more unfamiliar schemata in the reading tasks, the more complex they will be for the learners. Syllabus designers while designing materials and EFL teachers in their teaching practice might consider the findings of this study.


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