Orthography and configuration on Chinese literacy acquisition: evidence from eye movement


Previous research assumed the eye movement patterns change along with the growth of word knowledge while children become skilled readers. In this study, the effects of orthographic and configuration information on Chinese character recognition were investigated by comparing eye movement patterns from a developmental perspective (15 third-grade 27 sixth-grade schoolers, and 41 undergraduates). Eye movement patterns were recorded in a character decision task by varying configuration type (left-right, up-down), radical position-based frequencies (HH, HL, LH, LL), and radical position regularities (P, SN, WN). The results showed that the two different configurations lead to different eye movement patterns: (1) radical position regularity effect was only significant at the left-right configuration for all age groups; (2) frequency effect and development variation appeared for both two configuration types. These findings highlight the importance of configuration knowledge and orthographic awareness for learning Chinese characters.

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