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ARC Eye Movement & Reading Awareness Resource Lab


coordinator: Elizabeth Specker, Ph.D.

hours: call or email for an appointment


phone: 916-484-8013

The EMRA lab (Eye Movement & Reading Awareness resource lab) is in the ESL Department in Humanities.

The EMRA lab can be used for assisting ARC students with their reading abilities.  It can be used in two ways: either individually in a one-on-one session with an instructor in the EMRA lab, or as a workshop embedded within a classroom as an EMME (Eye Movement Modelling Example). 

Currently used with ESL students, the EMRA lab uses reading materials and an eye tracking camera to illustrate to students their own reading habits and thereby help them with their academic textbook reading skills, scanning strategies, looking for main ideas/details, and overall reading interactions.

The EMRA lab puts READING in CONTEXT. 

reading questions  Image of reading scan path

The EMRA lab has an eye tracking camera that can capture where and for how long a reader looks at a page while reading.  This information creates a video of the reading activities that can be viewed and discussed by the reader and an instructor.  Feedback can be given about current reading habits and future adaptive reading choices.  It is truly amazing to see what we do when we read and our amazing cognitive choices!

Use the EMRA lab in one of two ways:

Individual Reading Experience

Classroom Workshop

Students benefit from viewing their own reading patterns. During a one-on-one session, discuss an individual's strategies and abilities such as pre-reading skills, scanning skills & patterns, strategies to use with unknown words or difficult passages - all on an individual basis. Materials can be adapted to a student's course and reading level.  Students can option to read more than once and view progress and changes in reading proficiency over the course of one semester or over multiple semesters.  Students can also compare reading patterns in 1st and 2nd languages, or with expert readers.  Discussion and self-reflection are part of an EMRA reading experience to raise awareness of personal reading habits and choices. A 30-45 minute workshop tailored to the level and materials used in class.  Instructors choose strategies and learning points to focus on.  For example, a workshop about pre-reading strategies may include reading exercises intermixed with a powerpoint video illustrating what an 'expert' reader does with pre-reading skills using the same exercises.  Students can compare their own reading habits with a visual example of an expert reader.  Workshops help students focus and become aware of their own reading patterns through examples, practice, discussion and supportive reasoning.

Figure asking question  You can view a PowerPoint of an explanation and the purpose of the lab here: The EMRA lab PowerPoint


Different stages are in development.

Stage I:  Setting up and piloting materials with students and instructors.  Spring & Summer 2016

Stage II:  More specific, stylized materials and sessions will be developed according to instructors' desired skill focus and the EMRA lab's participation with the ESL Center.  Fall 2016 & Spring 2017

Stage III: Use with ARC students in ESL courses.  Fall 2016 - present

Stage IV: Expand for collaboration and use with ARC departments around campus.  Fall 2017+

The EMRA resource lab uses a GP3 eye tracking camera from Gaze Point.

Office Location:

We are located in the 
Learning Resource Center,
English as a Second Language Center,
Room 127