Lower-Level Processing Skills in English-as-a-Second-Language Reading Comprehension: Possible Influence of First Language Orthography

Xiangying Jiang


Cross-linguistic studies on second language (L2) reading reveal that component skills of reading such as word recognition, phonemic decoding, spelling, and oral text reading are prone to the influence of first language (L1) orthography but few empirical studies have examined the possible influence of L1 orthography on these skills. This study investigates how adult ESL learners of two different L1 backgrounds (Spanish and Chinese) compare in their performances on word recognition efficiency, phonemic decoding efficiency, spelling, and oral text reading fluency and how these skills are related to their overall ability in reading comprehension. The differences in the learners’ performances on the component skills and the variations in the role of these skills in ESL reading comprehension indicated possible influence of the orthographic features of learners’ first language.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/selt.v5n3p448


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