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The simple view of second language reading throughout the primary grades

By L.T.W. Verhoeven and J.F.J. van Leeuwe


In the Simple View of Reading proposed by Hoover and Gough (1990), reading comprehension is conceived as the product of word decoding and listening comprehension. It is claimed that listening comprehension or the linguistic processes involved in the comprehension of oral language strongly constrain the process of reading comprehension. In several studies, evidence for this theoretical framework has been provided for first language learners. In the present study, an attempt was made to find empirical evidence for the same view underlying second language reading. Therefore, the word decoding and listening comprehension skills of samples of 1,293 first language (L1) learners and 394 second language (L2) learners of Dutch were related to their reading comprehension abilities throughout the primary grades. It was found that the levels of word decoding were more or less equal in the two groups of learners, whereas the L2 learners stayed behind their first L1 peers in both listening, and reading comprehension. The relationships between word decoding, listening comprehension and reading comprehension turned out to be highly comparable. A longitudinal analysis of data showed the Simple View of Reading to be equally valid for L1 and L2 learners. With progression of grade, the impact of word decoding on reading comprehension decreased, whereas the impact of listening comprehension showed an increase to the same extent in the two groups of learners. However, the reciprocity of the relationship between listening comprehension and reading comprehension tended to be less prominent in the group of L2 learners

Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s11145-011-9346-3
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Provided by: NARCIS
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