In order for educational software coupled with eye-tracking capability to respond with pedagogical appropriateness to a reader’s eye movements, reading metrics must be validly interpreted. These metrics and the types of reading they diagnose, for example, scanning, skimming and reading for meaning, come largely from reading fiction texts in a home language. The use of existing classification systems for disadvantaged South African learners did not yield consistent and credible classification of these learners’ reading. This could be attributed to learners barking at print, that is, decoding the text without comprehending what they were reading beyond the word level. Eye movements of barkers and non-barkers were analysed and no statistically significant differences were found. Barking at print was found to be distinct from mindless reading and mind-wandering, as well as other reading types for both first and second languages. Barking is characterised by slow reading with few regressions, average fixation durations typical of second language reading, and variability in eye-movements between lines of text. This work is significant in that it establishes that eye-movement during barking at print is distinct from other categories of reading. However, further research is needed before valid applications can be made from this work.
Part of the book: Visual Impairment and Blindness