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Eye movement parameters of bilingual people in reading Latvian and Russian. Irina Gorshanova, Roberts Paeglis, Ivars Lacis Department of Optometry and Vision Science University of Latvia.

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Eye movement parameters of bilingual people in reading Latvian and Russian

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Eye movement parameters of bilingual people in reading Latvian and Russian

Irina Gorshanova, Roberts Paeglis, Ivars LacisDepartment of Optometry and Vision Science

University of Latvia


The main purpose of this research is determining the eye movement parameters that distinguish bilingual people while reading texts in two alphabetic systems (Latvian and Russian)


The term multilingualism can refer to phenomena regarding an individual speaker who uses two or more languages, a community of speakers where two or more languages are used, or between speakers of different languages.


More specifically, the terms bilingual and trilingual are used to describe comparable situations in which two or three languages are involved, respectively.


  • A simultaneous bilingual advanced from speaking no languages at all directly to speaking two languages

  • Successive bilingualism refers to the learning of one language after already knowing another

  • Receptive bilingualism implies that a person is able to understand two languages but expresses oneself in only one language


Eye movement parameters

  • gaze fixations or stops

  • saccades or eye jumps

  • regressions or returns to previously read words


Typically for reading, fixations last for about 300 milliseconds.This information is used by the brain to plan eye movements to the next positions


Eye jumps can reach up to 700 degrees per second


hypotheses

These parameters can be different for reading in the two languages spoken in Latvia


The equipment used for the research is the video-oculograph iViewX, which calculates the gaze position from the infra-red corneal reflex and the pupil dark area.


Method

In this experiment texts from history and geography school-books are used. Currently these books are translated one to one from Latvian into Russian.


We hypothesize that the perception of study texts may differ in both languages, because the syntax, semantics and phonetics are not similar. Therefore we question if the school-books should rather be adapted.


Results


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