The Science of Reading: The Eyes Cannot Lie

Yueh-Nu Hung


The eyes cannot lie. Eye movements are biological data that reveal information about the reader’s attention and cognitive processes. This article summarizes the century-old eye movement research to elucidate reading comprehension performances and more importantly, their implications for reading instruction. This review paper addresses three research questions: (1) What do we know about eye movements? (2) What do we know about reading based on eye movements? (3) What reading instruction suggestions can be made based on eye movement research? Eye movement research show that reading is a selective, dynamic, sampling, integrating, and more than a perceiving process. Implications for reading instruction include: teach beyond phonics, teach beyond text, every element counts, make text natural, and evaluate the result and the process. This study contributes to the timely conversations about the science of reading and reading instruction and presents directions by which more effective reading instruction and policies can be established to address the needs of children and teachers.


Eye Movement, Reading Comprehension, Reading Instruction

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