Identıfyıng Eye Movement Behavıors and Dıscrepancıes of Learners of Englısh as a Foreıgn Language at Dıfferent Ielts General Readıng Levels
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This study aims to elaborate the use of eye tracking technique as a developmental tool to track EFL learner reading behavior in different proficiency levels by scrutinizing attentional mechanisms. Relying on Robinson’s (1995, 2003) hierarchical memory model and Noticing hypothesis by Schmidt (1990), it is hypothesized that proficiency levels, vocabulary learning gains and attention are closely associated. After a vocabulary pre-test, seventy-five learners of English of whom reading levels were defined by an IELTS General Reading Exam read a standard text individually and their eye movements were recorded which was then followed by an unannounced immediate post-test. The findings indicated differences regarding eye movements among proficiency levels, less skilled learners showed inflated values while more proper values were observed for proficient learners. The results also showed that foreign language learners spent more time on unknown words and less on known vocabulary items.