Revisiting Silent Reading
Eye Movements Make Reading Possible
S. Jay Samuels
Elfrieda H. Hiebert
Timothy V. Rasinski
The ability to read and understand printed words represents a remarkable human accomplishment. Although the ability to communicate through the spoken word seems to have been genetically hardwired into our species over the eons of time it has taken our species to develop (an estimated 5–8 million years), the skill of reading has been with us only for about 7,000 years. Because of the huge time differences between the development of language by ear versus language by eye, there appears to be some design flaws in the human eye that must be overcome before reading can occur. In essence, as remarkable an instrument as is the human eye, it is not ideally constructed for reading. An argument that we make in this chapter is that without eye movements, reading alphabetic texts would not be possible.
Samuels, S., Hiebert, E.H., & Rasinski, T.V. (2010).
Eye Movements Make Reading Possible.
In E.H. Hiebert, & D. Reutzel (Eds.), Revisiting Silent Reading (pp. 24-44). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.