A1 Journal article – refereed

Quantifying the Difference in Reading Fluency Between L1 and L2 Readers of English

List of Authors: Nisbet Kelly, Bertram Raymond, Erlinghagen Charlotte, Pieczykolan Aleks, Kuperman Victor

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Place: Cambridge

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Studies in Second Language Acquisition

Journal name in source: Studies in Second Language Acquisition

eISSN: 1470-1545

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0272263121000279

URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/studies-in-second-language-acquisition/article/quantifying-the-difference-in-reading-fluency-between-l1-and-l2-readers-of-english/62196E81F7CE9B2752EEE8A7299DC365


This study is a comparative examination of reading behavior of first-language (L1) Canadian and second-language (L2) Finnish and German readers of English. We measured eye-movement patterns during reading the same set of English sentences and administered tests of English vocabulary, spelling, and exposure to print. The core of our study is a novel method of statistical prediction used to generate hypothetical Finnish and German participants with maximum observed L1 scores in all component skills. We found that with L1-like component skills, hypothetical German readers can show the same reading speed as the L1 group. We hypothesize this advantage comes from the small linguistic distance to English. Conversely, hypothetical Finnish readers remain disadvantaged even with maximum component skills, likely due to a larger linguistic distance. We discuss theoretical and applied implications of our method for L2 acquisition research.

Last updated on 2021-15-10 at 12:18