The role of first-language listening comprehension in second-language reading comprehension

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2016
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Stanat, Petra
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Journal of Educational Psychology. 2016, 108(2), pp. 163-180. ISSN 0022-0663. eISSN 1939-2176. Available under: doi: 10.1037/edu0000060
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Although the simple view of reading and other theories suggest that listening comprehension is an important determinant of reading comprehension, previous research on linguistic transfer has mainly focused on the role of first language (L1) decoding skills in second language (L2) reading. The present study tested the assumption that listening comprehension in L1 is a significant predictor of language minority students’ reading comprehension in L2. In addition, we explored whether the cross-linguistic relationship is particularly pronounced at higher levels of L1 proficiency. The sample included 502 9th grade students with Russian as L1 and 662 9th grade students with Turkish as L1 from a nationwide study conducted in Germany. The L1s of these students differ in their similarity to their L2, German: Russian is considerably more similar to German than is Turkish. In both language groups, L1 listening comprehension significantly predicted L2 reading comprehension in linear regression models; this was also true after important control variables were taken into account. Polynomial regression models indicated that the relationship between L1 proficiency and L2 proficiency was linear in the Russian sample, yet stronger at higher levels of L1 proficiency in the Turkish sample. Thus, the prediction that transfer should be more pronounced at higher levels of L1 proficiency was also partly supported. Our study extends the range of L1 skills previously known to transfer to L2 reading. We found the predicted relationship between L1 listening comprehension and L2 reading comprehension in 2 language groups with varying degrees of language similarity, suggesting that the effect is language-independent.

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ISO 690EDELE, Aileen, Petra STANAT, 2016. The role of first-language listening comprehension in second-language reading comprehension. In: Journal of Educational Psychology. 2016, 108(2), pp. 163-180. ISSN 0022-0663. eISSN 1939-2176. Available under: doi: 10.1037/edu0000060
BibTex
@article{Edele2016first-46121,
  year={2016},
  doi={10.1037/edu0000060},
  title={The role of first-language listening comprehension in second-language reading comprehension},
  number={2},
  volume={108},
  issn={0022-0663},
  journal={Journal of Educational Psychology},
  pages={163--180},
  author={Edele, Aileen and Stanat, Petra}
}
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