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Publication of Extensive Eye-Tracking Dataset Derived from Japanese L2 English Leaners' Text Reading

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Eye-tracking, a method of recording eye movements during reading, is a valuable tool in language processing research. A research group at the University of Tsukuba gathered eye-movement data from Japanese students learning English to create and publish the Tsukuba Eye-tracking Corpus (TECO), a large dataset encompassing eye-movement data for more than 410,000 words.

Tsukuba, Japan—Language processing is a highly intricate human function, and it has been extensively studied in the fields of psychology and education. Eye movement measurement, particularly for written language, has proven to be a beneficial method for language processing. In recent years, numerous initiatives have been undertaken to collect, organize, and publish large-scale eye-movement data during reading in first and second/foreign languages. However, these efforts have primarily focused on English learners in Europe and its surrounding regions. To date, there has been a lack of focus on text reading among Japanese speakers learning English.

In this study, researchers constructed an eye-movement dataset, comprising more than 410,000 words, for Japanese students engaged in text reading in English. The dataset includes eye-movement data for approximately 10,000 words per individual from 41 Japanese undergraduate and graduate students. These students read passages used for Eiken Grade Pre-2 to Grade Pre-1. From these data, the researchers computed nine eye-tracking measures for each word in the text, including fixation count, fixation duration, word skipping, and regressions. They conducted various analyses and confirmed the high reliability and validity of the collected data.

The Tsukuba Eye-tracking Corpus (TECO) is now publicly available on the Open Science Framework. This dataset is beneficial for research on reading comprehension and second language acquisition. Furthermore, it holds potential for natural language processing and artificial intelligence research and is expected to have a considerable impact on future research across a broad spectrum of academic fields.

This research was funded by the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (No. 23K25335).

Original Paper

Title of original paper:
TECO: An Eye-tracking Corpus of Japanese L2 English Learners' Text Reading.
Research Methods in Applied Linguistics


Assistant Professor NAHATAME Shingo
Institute of Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba

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