The complexity of second language reading: Investigating the L1-L2 relationship

Date
2016-10
Authors
Brevik. Lisbeth M.
Olsen, Rolf V.
Hellekjær, Glenn O.
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
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28
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2
Starting Page
161
Ending Page
182
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Abstract
This article contributes to the field of reading assessment in English as a second language (L2). Few reading studies have been carried out at the upper secondary school level, and the present study provides insight into upper secondary school students’ L2 reading proficiency. It examines whether such proficiency can be explained by reading proficiency in Norwegian as their first language (L1). The analysis uses data from two national reading tests, comprising a large sample of 16-year-old students (N=10,331), and it is the first time reading across these languages has been investigated at this level. The results show a significant and meaningful relationship between students’ reading proficiency in the two languages. The results also reveal marked reading differences in reading proficiency in the two languages among poor readers.
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assessment, crosslinguistic reading, reading in a second language, reading comprehension, reading tests
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