L1 IMPACTS ON L2 COMPONENT READING SKILLS, WORD d- L1 IMPACTS ON L2 COMPONENT READING SKILLS, WORD SKILLS,

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  • L1 IMPACTS ON L2 COMPONENT READING SKILLS, WORD SKILLS, AND OVERALL READING ACHIEVEMENT

    by

    Katherine I. Martin

    A.B., Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science, University of Michigan, 2009

    M.A., Linguistics, University of Pittsburgh, 2011

    Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of

    The Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences in partial fulfillment

    of the requirements for the degree of

    Doctor of Philosophy

    University of Pittsburgh

    2015

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    UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

    Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences

    This dissertation was presented

    by

    Katherine I. Martin

    It was defended on

    April 6, 2015

    and approved by

    Keiko Koda, Professor, Department of Modern Languages, Carnegie Mellon University

    Charles Perfetti, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh

    Yasuhiro Shirai, Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Case Western

    Reserve University

    Natasha Tokowicz, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh

    Dissertation Advisor: Alan Juffs, Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of

    Pittsburgh

  • iii

    Copyright © by Katherine I. Martin

    2015

  • iv

    Learning to read in a second language as an adult is different in many ways from learning to read

    in a first language. Unlike children, adult second language (L2) learners have limited knowledge

    of the target language but may already have fluent reading skills in their first language (L1).

    These initial reading skills develop to be specifically tuned to the characteristics of the L1

    writing system, and may not be optimized for literacy in the L2 (e.g., Frost, 2012; Koda, 2004).

    This dissertation consists of a program of research designed to examine the impacts that these L1

    writing system characteristics have on the development of literacy skills in English as a second

    language (ESL). Study 1 examined performance on two fundamental literacy skills,

    phonological awareness and orthographic knowledge, as a function of L1 background and task

    demands. These data were collected abroad from native French, Hebrew, and Mandarin Chinese

    speakers, as well as native English speakers, and show clear influences of both L1 orthography

    and phonology on literacy skill performance. The large differences in performance associated

    with varying task demands have implications for accurately measuring and understanding

    students’ underlying abilities. Study 2 examined the contributions of phonological awareness

    and orthographic knowledge to three measures of word identification: lexical decision, word

    naming, and pseudoword decoding, as well as global reading comprehension. These data reveal

    differential performance on the word identification tasks across L1s, as well as differential

    contributions of phonological awareness and orthographic knowledge to word identification.

    L1 IMPACTS ON L2 COMPONENT READING SKILLS, WORD SKILLS, AND OVERALL READING ACHIEVEMENT

    Katherine I. Martin, Ph.D.

    University of Pittsburgh, 2015

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    Study 2 again revealed the effects of task demands on the relationships between sub-lexical

    literacy skills and word identification. Finally, Study 3 examined the development of language

    and literacy in adult ESL classroom learners who received either traditional reading instruction

    or a set of supplemental lessons providing a phonics-based instructional intervention. The results

    show influences of L1 background as well as different developmental patterns for phonological

    and orthographic skills based on the type of curriculum students received. The discussion

    highlights the contributions of this work to understanding cross-linguistic literacy skills and the

    importance of considering task demands when choosing language assessment measures.

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    TABLE OF CONTENTS ......................................................................................................................................... VI

    LIST OF TABLES ................................................................................................................................................. XIII

    LIST OF FIGURES .............................................................................................................................................. XVII

    PREFACE ................................................................................................................................................................ XXI

    1.0 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................................ 1

    1.1 COMPARING FIRST AND SECOND LANGUAGE READING ...................................................................... 1

    1.2 COMPONENT SKILLS APPROACHES TO READING RESEARCH ............................................................. 3

    1.2.1 Phonological awareness ...................................................................................................................... 4

    1.2.2 Orthographic Knowledge.................................................................................................................... 5

    1.3 RELEVANCE OF L2 COMPONENT SKILLS READING RESEARCH ......................................................... 7

    1.4 INTERVENTION RESEARCH ..................................................................................................................... 8

    1.5 LIMITATIONS OF PREVIOUS L2 COMPONENT SKILLS READING RESEARCH .................................. 10

    1.6 GOALS OF THE CURRENT RESEARCH .................................................................................................. 11

    2.0 WRITING SYSTEMS ............................................................................................................................... 14

    2.1 TYPES OF WRITING SYSTEM ................................................................................................................. 15

    2.1.1 Alphabets ................................................................................................................................................. 15

    2.1.2 Abjads and Abugidas ......................................................................................................................... 15

    2.1.3 Syllabaries............................................................................................................................................... 17

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    2.1.4 Morphosyllabaries .............................................................................................................................. 17

    2.1.5 Orthographic Depth ........................................................................................................................... 18

    2.2 DISAGREEMENTS ABOUT CLASSIFYING WRITING SYSTEMS ............................................................. 19

    2.3 DEFINITIONS USED IN THE CURRENT RESEARCH .............................................................................. 19

    3.0 LANGUAGE INFLUENCES ON COMPONENT READING SKILLS ................................................ 21

    3.1 FIRST LANGUAGE RESEARCH ON SUB-LEXICAL LITERACY SKILLS ................................................. 22

    3.1.1 Phonological awareness in L1 ....................................................................................................... 22

    3.1.2 Orthographic knowledge in L1 ..................................................................................................... 31

    3.1.3 The contributions of phonological and orthographic skills to broader literacy

    outcomes ........................................................................................................................................................... 35

    3.2 SECOND LANGUAGE RESEARCH ON LITERACY AND SUB-LEXICAL LITERACY SKILLS .................. 38

    3.2.1 Phonological awareness in L2 and L2 literacy ...................................................................... 38

    3.2.2 Orthographic knowledge in L2 and L2 literacy .................................................................... 42

    3.3 INTERVENTION RESEARCH IN LITERACY ........................................................................................... 44

    4.0 OVERVIEW OF THE CURRENT RESEARCH .................................................................................... 47

    4.1 STUDY 1 .................................................................................................................................................. 48

    4.2 STUDY 2: CROSS-LINGUISTIC CONTRIBUTIONS OF PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS AND

    ORTHOGRAPHIC KNOWLEDGE TO WORD IDENTIFICATION .............................................................................. 52

    4.3 STUDY 3: PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS AND ORTHOGRAPHIC KNOWLEDGE AND THEIR

    DEVELOPMENT IN ESL CLASSROOM STUDENTS .............................................................................................. 53

    5.0 STUDY 1: LABORATORY-BASED INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACTS OF L1 ON L2