Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Development of visual span in Hebrew and Dutch-speaking prereaders


Marga Sikkema-de Jong


Reading requires processing of more letters in one glance. In left-to-right languages most of the new visual information is in the right area of the word, which might be the reason for conventional readers’ focus a little bit to the right of the middle letter.

Israeli readers who learn a right-to-left language show a preference for the left parafoveal field. When a word is fixated Israeli children may fixate a bit to the right while Dutch children fixate to the left of the middle letter.

The project is aimed at testing whether preferences for the right or left visual field in recognizing letters are already manifest in emerging readers of a left-to-right and right-to-left language who are not yet able to read words?earningl

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