Second Language Reading Issus

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  • 1. TSL 591 : MTR Hudson, Chapter 3
  • 2.
    • When talking about second language reading the main question that needs to be addressed is:
      • Is it a reading problem or a language problem ?
    • The question is central to sorting the causes and origins of 2nd language reading problem.
  • 3.
    • Hulstijn (1991)
      • Questions on whether good or poor readers read in the same way in their 1 st language need to be addressed
      • Why?
      • Increase in our understanding of 2 nd language reading proficiency when link to theories of 1 st language research
      • Important in our understanding of 2 nd language reading if the reading processes are similar
  • 4.
    • Differences between 1 st and 2 nd language readers:
    • Since L2 readers are proficient in the 1 st language, they may transfer L1 skills to L2
      • May assist or interfere
    • Reading in L1 normally begins after speaking in L1 is advanced, but L2 learners do not normally master spoken skills when reading instruction begins.
    • Great cognitive difference between child 1st language readers and adult 2 nd language readers
  • 5.
    • Two contrasting views on second language learners’ success in foreign language reading
    • Success in reading a foreign language depends upon 1 st language reading ability rather than level of English
    • Reading problems of second or foreign language learners are the result of imperfect knowledge of the language
  • 6.
    • Alderson’s hypotheses on 2 nd language reading performance:
    • Poor reading in FL is due to poor reading in L1
    • Poor reading in FL is due to inadequate knowledge of TL
    • Modifications to the above hypotheses:
    • Poor FL reading is due incorrect strategies used, strategies not similar to L1
    • Poor FL reading is due to strategies in L1 not being employed in FL due to inadequate knowledge in FL. Good L1 readers will read well in FL once passed a threshold of FL ability.
  • 7.
    • Studies tend to find:
      • Strong relationship between 2 nd language linguistic ability and 2 nd language reading ability
      • Moderate relationship between 1 st language reading ability and 2 nd language reading ability, depending upon level of language ability
    • Studies by Perkins et al. (1989) & Carson et al . (1990):
      • Indicate a moderate relationship between 1 st language and 2 nd language reading
      • Suggest that some transfer of reading ability is possible
  • 8.
    • Studies by Carrell (1991) and Yamashita (2002) looked at L2 Reading = L1 Reading + L2 Language Proficiency
    • Findings of both studies suggest:
      • Strong relationship between 1 st language and 2 nd language reading for higher-level students
      • Once readers become more advanced 1 st language reading ability becomes increasingly important
  • 9.
    • Bosser’s (1991) study:
      • Examined the relation between 1 st language reading, 2 nd language reading and 2 nd language ability
      • Results :
        • 2 nd language ability and 1 st language reading play a substantial role in 2 nd language reading
        • Possible existence of a threshold level before learners are limited in their ability to transfer 1 st language reading abilities to 2 nd language reading context
  • 10.
    • Lee & Schallert (1997):
      • Examined whether no or little effective transfer of L1 reading strategies until the learner reached a threshold level of L2 ability
      • Results :
        • L1 reading ability contributed less to L2 reading ability than L2 proficiency
        • There is a language threshold where L1 reading skills begin to contribute to L2 reading ability.
  • 11.
    • Fecteau (1999):
      • Examined relationship between L1 and L2 reading of literature for more advanced-level FL learners
      • Result :
        • Subjects were able to transfer L1 language literature reading skills to reading L2 literature
  • 12.
    • Donin & Silva (1993):
      • Attempted to differentiate aspects of L2 reading comprehension specific to reading in L2 from factors relevant to understanding text in any language
      • Result :
        • Reading time slower when reading in L2
  • 13.
    • Taillefer (1996):
      • Examined the relationship between L1 reading and L2 reading across 2 different tasks
      • Results :
        • L1 reading ability and L2 proficiency to be significant predictors of FL reading depending upon the particular reading task.
        • More demanding reading tasks may call on greater need for L2 proficiency
        • The use L1 reading ability aids the L2 reader only after the reader has a threshold of L2 ability.
  • 14.
    • There are interrelationships between L1 reading ability, L2 proficiency and L2 reading performance
    • Results of research tend to show that L2 proficiency plays a greater role that L1 reading ability
      • Also it is dependent on the type of reading task
      • Most important at the lower level of L2 proficiency
    • Interactions between the 3 elements above is dependent on whether the learners are in foreign or 2 nd language context