Connectives and layout as processing signals: How textual features affect students’ processing and text representation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

When students read their school text, they may make a coherent mental representation of it that contains coherence relations between the text segments. The construction of such a representation is a prerequisite for learning from texts. This article focuses on the influence of connectives (therefore, furthermore) and layout (continuous placement of sentences vs. each sentence beginning a new line) on the dynamics of the reading process as well as the quality of students’ mental representation. The results shed light on the cognitive reading processes of students in secondary education, which allows us to explain effects of text features on off-line comprehension measures. Our eye-tracking data emphasize the importance of connectives: Connectives speed up students’ processing, especially when texts have a continuous layout. In contrast, students’ processing slows when they read texts with a discontinuous layout. Our data also show a correlation between reading times and scores on bridging inference tasks: Students who read faster have higher comprehension scores. These findings indicate that explicit texts with a continuous layout place fewer processing demands on students’ working memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1036-1048
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Volume106
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Connectives and layout as processing signals: How textual features affect students’ processing and text representation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this