ABSTRACT

The current study investigates the effects of novel spacing systems on the reading performance of native and nonnative Korean speakers. It conducted two experiments. The first experiment measured native and nonnative speakers’ (N = 24) eye movements while they read normal, spaced, and unspaced texts. The normal text used the Korean language’s current spacing system. In the spaced text, linguistic markers were separated from their preceding noun phrases. The unspaced text had no spaces at all. We measured performance by correct answer rate, fixation rate, regression ratio, and reading speed. The second experiment measured native and nonnative Korean speakers’ (N = 69) eye movements while reading the same texts, but they also received three weeks of training on novel spacing systems according to their assigned group. It conducted a survey to examine each participant’s perceived reading efficiency on each spacing system. The evidence showed facilitating effects of spaced text for native English speakers; unspaced text did not disrupt native Korean speakers’ reading performance. The spaced text showed potential for its application in second language learning. The novel spacing systems were proved to be learnable, indicating the possible use in education.

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