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Impact of L2 Reading Proficiency on L1 Transfer in Visual Word Recognition
Ryan T. Miller
78-90 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Much of the way words are recognized and processed in any language is related to and influenced by the writing system used in that language. Furthermore, a multitude of research has shown that first language orthography can have a significant impact on the way that words are recognized in a second language. However, is this transfer effect from the L1 orthography a static one that is insurmountable, or is it possible for the degree of L1 orthographic transfer to change as a reader gains in L2 reading proficiency? The present study investigates this question in the context of L1 Chinese learners of English and their ability to process the constituent letters of words, an area which has been shown to receive L1 orthographic transfer effects. Two experiments were conducted, the first using context-free words, and the second using words in sentential context. Results indicate that at higher L2 reading proficiency levels, L1 Chinese learners of English have improved intra-word processing of context-free words, but that this may not hold true when words appear in sentential context.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2010 Second Language Research Forum: Reconsidering SLA Research, Dimensions, and Directions
edited by Gisela Granena, Joel Koeth, Sunyoung Lee-Ellis, Anna Lukyanchenko, Goretti Prieto Botana, and Elizabeth Rhoades
Table of contents
Printed edition: $260.00