This study aimed at examining context effects of processing science terminology in Chinese during reading process. The science texts were first chosen, and then they were replaced by science terminology with familiar words; other common words remained in both texts. The results implied that readers spent longer rereading durations and total fixation durations for the same common words in science texts than for corresponding texts. Readers performed shorter gaze durations for replaced words than the science terminology. However, the first fixation durations for the two-word types did not show significant differences from each other. Besides, readers sought for more contextual information to aid their comprehension. The adult readers seemed to successfully process the meanings of each Chinese characters but they failed to access the meanings of science terminology at the initial processing stage. With the assistance of contextual information, the adult readers were able to comprehend the unfamiliar words. Instruction for teaching science in school was suggested to improve the learning processes.
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