Individual Differences in Fifth Gradersí Literacy and Academic Language Predict Comprehension Monitoring Development: An Eye-Movement Study

In this study, we investigated fifth graders? (n = 52) fall literacy, academic language, and motivation and how these skills predicted fall and spring comprehension monitoring on an eye movement task. Comprehension monitoring was defined as the identification and repair of misunderstandings when reading text. In the eye movement task, children read two sentences; the second included either a plausible or implausible word in the context of the first sentence. Stronger readers had shorter reading times overall suggesting faster processing of text. Generally fifth graders reacted to the implausible word (i.e., longer gaze duration on the implausible vs. the plausible word, which reflects lexical access). Students with stronger academic language, compared to those with weaker academic language, generally spent more time rereading the implausible target compared to the plausible target. This difference increased from fall to spring. Results support the centrality of academic language for meaning integration, setting standards of coherence, and utilizing comprehension repair strategies.