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Young L2 learners’ online processing of information in a graded reader during reading-only and reading-while-listening conditions: A study of eye-movements

  • Raquel Serrano EMAIL logo and Ana Pellicer-Sánchez


Combining reading with auditory input has been shown to be an effective way of supporting reading fluency and reading comprehension in a second language. Previous research has also shown that reading comprehension can be further supported by pictorial information. However, the studies conducted so far have mainly included adults or adolescents and have been based on post-reading tests that, although informative, do not contribute to our understanding of how learners’ processing of the several sources of input in multimodal texts changes with the presence of auditory input and the effect that potential differences could have on comprehension. The present study used eye-tracking to examine how young learners process the pictorial and textual information in a graded reader under reading only and reading-while-listening conditions. Results showed that readers spent more time processing the text in the reading only condition, while more time was spent processing the images in the reading-while-listening mode. Nevertheless, comprehension scores were similar for the readers in the two conditions. Additionally, our results suggested a significant (negative) relationship between the amount of time learners spent processing the text and comprehension scores in both modes.

Funding statement: This work was supported by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, (Funder Id:, Grant Number: FFI2016-80576-P).


We would like to thank Andrej Krasnansky and Radha Chandy for their help in this study.


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Published Online: 2019-06-07
Published in Print: 2022-01-27

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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