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Home Journal Index 2022-1

Eye-Tracking L2 Students Taking Online Multiple-Choice Reading Tests: Benefits and Challenges

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Nicola Latimer
University of Bedfordshire, UK


Sathena Chan
University of Bedfordshire, UK

 

Abstract
Recently, there has been a marked increase in language testing research involving eye-tracking. It appears to offer a useful methodology for examining cognitive validity in language tests, i.e., the extent to which the mental processes that a language test elicits from test takers resemble those that they would employ in the target language use domains. This article reports on a recent study which examined reading processes of test takers at different proficiency levels on a reading proficiency test. Using a mixed-methods approach, the study collected cognitive validity evidence through eyetracking and stimulated recall interviews. The study investigated whether there are differences in reading behaviour among test takers at CEFR B1, B2 and C1 levels on an online reading task. The main findings are reported and the implications of the findings are discussed to reflect on some fundamental questions regarding the use of eye-tracking in language testing research.


Keywords
Eye-tracking, reading tests, cognitive validity, multiple-choice