MSU CogSci Mary Ann Evans - March 29, 2010

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"Developing an eye for print in emergent and beginning readers during shared book reading."

Abstract for talk: According to Gough's "simple view of reading", skilled reading is a product of ability to comprehend spoken language and ability to decode or translate the printed symbols on the page into the sound-based representations of that spoken language. A major hurdle for children learning to read is the latter. It is a task that begins with an appreciation of printed letters and words as different from other graphic forms, and progresses towards rapid and effortless recognition of individual letters and words. In this same period, young children are exposed to numerous storybook interactions in which print is directly at hand in the books read to and provided to them. It has been suggested - and perhaps generally believed - that such book interactions help children to learn about print. How much do children attend to print in books? Do variations in the features of books influence their attention? Do children follow along the print when listening to the text? The talk will address such questions by presenting the results of a set of studies (including recent unpublished data) in which the eye movements of children from ages 4 to 8 years have been monitored when looking at books and being read to by adults.


Suggested Readings:

Evans, M. A., and Saint- Aubin, J. (2005). What children are looking at during shared storybook reading: Evidence from eye movement monitoring. Psychological Science, 16, 913-920.[.pdf]

Evans, M. A., Williamson, K., & Pursoo, T. (2008). Preschoolers' attention to print during shared book reading. Scientific Studies of Reading, 12, 106-129.[.pdf]

Evans, M. A., Saint-Aubin, J., & Landry, N. (2009). Letter names and alphabet book reading by senior kindergarteners: An eye-movement study. Child Development, 80, 1824-1841.[.pdf]

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