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Eye movements of online Chinese learners

Stickler, Ursula and Shi, Lijing (2015). Eye movements of online Chinese learners. CALICO Journal, 32(1) pp. 52–81.

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Although online tutorials are becoming commonplace for language teaching, very few studies to date have provided insights into learners’ behaviours in synchronous online interactions from their own perspective. This study employs eyetracking technology to investigate ten learners’ attention during synchronous online language learning in a multimodal environment. The participants were learners of Chinese as a Foreign Language at beginner’s or lower-intermediate level. While learners took part in two different online activities, one focusing on reading, the other on interaction with others, their gaze focus was tracked, and in subsequent stimulated recall interviews the learners reflected on their engagement with the screen and their intentions while reading or speaking
Our findings show that during reading tasks, when Pinyin transcriptions as well as Chinese characters were presented, all beginner and lower intermediate participants focused to some degree on the Pinyin. In the interactive task learners’ gaze was drawn to elements of the screen that were not immediately necessary for technical or linguistic reasons but that could be interpreted as containing social presence information, e.g. names listed and emoticons employed by other users.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 Equinox Publishing
ISSN: 0742-7778
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Tracking students' eye movements during multimodal online Chinese tutorials (E-11-030-US)SG112081British Academy
Keywords: Chinese as a foreign language; computer assisted language learning; eyetracking; stimulated recall; synchronous computer mediated communication (SCMC)
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics > Languages
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Language & Literacies
Item ID: 40827
Depositing User: Ursula Stickler
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2015 09:44
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2020 14:53
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