Visual attention to print-salient and picture-salient environmental print in young children
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Environmental print is composed of words and contextual cues such as logos and pictures. The salience of the contextual cues may influence attention to words and thus the potential of environmental print in promoting early reading development. The present study explored this by presenting pre-readers (n = 20) and beginning readers (n = 16) with environmental print that was print-salient or picture-salient. Children’s visual attention to environmental print was measured using an eye tracker. Pre-readers were found to attend more to words in print-salient rather than picture-salient environmental print. In contrast, no difference in attention to words in print- or picture-salient environmental print was found in beginning readers. This suggests that although visual features of environmental print influence attention to words, children may preferentially attend to print according to their reading ability. Print-salient environmental print may be more beneficial for enhancing pre-readers’ visual attention to words, whereas print salience may be less important for beginning readers.
Reading and Writing
Copyright 2015 Springer Netherlands. This is an electronic version of an article published in Reading and Writing, Vol. 28 (4), pp. 423-437, 2015. Reading and Writing is available online at: http://link.springer.com/ with the open URL of your article.