Comprehension Monitoring during Reading: An Eye-tracking Study with Children Learning English as an Additional Language
Hessel AK., Nation K., Murphy VA.
© 2020, © 2020 Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. This experiment investigated comprehension monitoring in children learning English as an additional language (EAL) compared to monolinguals. Sixty-three 9–10-year-old children read texts containing an internal inconsistency (e.g. a barking kitten vs. barking puppy) while their eye movements were monitored. Standardized tests measured word reading fluency and vocabulary size and the children completed a questionnaire tapping rereading behavior. There was no overall difference between EAL and monolingual children. Regardless of EAL status, children with larger vocabularies were more efficient in their re-analysis of inconsistent information, as revealed by regressive eye movements. As efficient re-analysis of inconsistent information is essential for comprehension and is ubiquitous in proficient readers, the presence of this pattern in the children is indicative of successful online monitoring. However, rereading of inconsistent vs consistent words in the eye movement record was not related to children’s self-reported rereading, not providing any support for deliberate rereading. Our findings indicate that successful online monitoring relies on strong word knowledge leading to efficient processing of texts, both for bilingual and monolingual children, and beyond deliberate rereading.