Silent versus reading out loud modes: An eye-tracking study
The main purpose of this study is to compare the silent and loud reading ability of typical and dyslexic readers, using eye-tracking technology to monitor the reading process. The participants (156 students of normal intelligence) were first divided into three groups based on their school grade, and each subgroup was then further separated into typical readers and students diagnosed with dyslexia. The students read the same text twice, one time silently and one time out loud. Various eye-tracking parameters were calculated for both types of reading. In general, the performance of the typical students was better for both modes of reading - regardless of age. In the older age groups, typical readers performed better at silent reading. The dyslexic readers in all age groups performed better at reading out loud. However, this was less prominent in secondary and upper secondary dyslexics, reflecting a slow shift towards silent reading mode as they age. Our results confirm that the eye-tracking parameters of dyslexics improve with age in both silent and loud reading, and their reading preference shifts slowly towards silent reading. Typical readers, before 4th grade do not show a clear reading mode preference, however, after that age they develop a clear preference for silent reading.