Word recognition subcomponents and passage level reading in a foreign language

Date
2013-04
Authors
Yamashita, Junko
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Volume
25
Number/Issue
1
Starting Page
52
Ending Page
71
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Abstract
Despite the growing number of studies highlighting the complex process of acquiring second language (L2) word recognition skills, comparatively little research has examined the relationship between word recognition and passage-level reading ability in L2 learners; further, the existing results are inconclusive. This study aims to help fill the gap. Three word recognition subcomponents (decoding, sight word reading, and lexical meaning access) and general English language ability were examined in terms of their contributions to predicting the reading comprehension and reading rate of Japanese university students learning English. Multiple regression analyses revealed that, in addition to the contribution made by English language ability, lexical meaning access was a significant predictor of both reading comprehension and reading rate, and decoding was a predictor of reading rate only. These results not only supported some previous findings but also added new insight into the influence of efficiency of lexical meaning access to reading comprehension.
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word recognition, decoding, sight word reading, lexical meaning access, reading rate, reading comprehension
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