The Science of Second Language Reading: Ecological, Educational, Neurolinguistic, Psychological, and Sociocultural Perspectives

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Language and Literacy Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 5221

Special Issue Editor

Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Interests: second language reading; biliteracy development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In many parts of the world, literacy competency in a second language is required for gaining access to formal education; thus, it is imperative that we expand the understanding of the nature of reading development in an additional language from different theoretical and methodological perspectives. 

The aim of this Special Issue is three-folded:

  • To clarify the universal and language-specific processes in second language reading acquisition and how language-, measurement-, learner-, and context-related factors can shape the development of language and literacy skills in two or multiple languages;
  • To expand current work of language and literacy education to solve real-world problems in relation to the use of multiple languages because the competence of an additional language, oftentimes, is not just an asset for learners but the key to accessing formal education in a current globalized world;
  • To provide a venue for the report of interdisciplinary collaboration and participation, and the training for researchers, teachers and students to work in typologically different languages across fields, including cognitive science, education, linguistics, psychology, and second language acquisition.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Comparing first and second language reading
  • Cross-language and cross-cultural influences in second language reading
  • Ecological and sociocultural perspectives of second language literacy
  • Individual differences in second language reading acquisition
  • Meta-analyses and systematic reviews of second language reading research
  • Metalinguistic awareness and second language reading
  • Neurolinguistic and psycholinguistic approaches toward second language reading research
  • Reading and second language acquisition interfaces
  • Second language reading and special education
  • Second language reading and teacher education
  • Second language reading assessment and instruction
  • Second language reading acquisition during COVID-19
  • Technology and second language reading education
  • Vocabulary and second language reading acquisition

Dr. Sihui (Echo) Ke
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • reading
  • second language acquisition
  • education
  • interdisciplinarity

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 589 KiB  
Article
Independent Semantic and Syntactic Representations in L2 Mandarin Learners: Evidence from Structural Priming
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14020204 - 17 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Structural representations in English have been shown to be quite abstract, with structural information being represented independently from semantic information. Mandarin has a relatively sparse marking of syntactic information, with no inflections for case, number, or tense. Given this syntactic sparsity, Huang et [...] Read more.
Structural representations in English have been shown to be quite abstract, with structural information being represented independently from semantic information. Mandarin has a relatively sparse marking of syntactic information, with no inflections for case, number, or tense. Given this syntactic sparsity, Huang et al. (2016) hypothesized that, distinct from English-language findings, Mandarin learners may have shared syntactic and semantic representations, such that semantic information can guide structure building. We examined this question in L2 Mandarin learners using a structural priming paradigm that required reading Mandarin primes. We found that L2 Mandarin learners exhibit within-language structural priming, and this effect is independent of semantic information. These findings have two implications: (1) this represents the first demonstration of within-language L2 Mandarin structural priming; (2) L2 learners can develop syntactic representations independent of semantic representations, even when the target L2 language lacks rich marking of syntactic information. Full article
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15 pages, 563 KiB  
Article
The Role of Second Language Reading Proficiency in Moderating Second Language Word Recognition
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14020193 - 15 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Drawing upon the division of labor between orthographic and phonological information, this study investigated whether and how L2 reading proficiency moderates learners’ reliance on phonological and orthographic information in retrieving word meanings. A total of 136 Chinese collegiate students who learned English as [...] Read more.
Drawing upon the division of labor between orthographic and phonological information, this study investigated whether and how L2 reading proficiency moderates learners’ reliance on phonological and orthographic information in retrieving word meanings. A total of 136 Chinese collegiate students who learned English as a foreign language (EFL) completed English reading proficiency tests and were divided into higher and lower reading proficiency groups using an extreme-group approach. Behavioral tasks were used to measure the participants’ sensitivity to and processing skills of orthographic and phonological information. The analysis showed that the reliance on phonological and orthographic information differed significantly across L2 reading proficiency groups: The higher reading proficiency group was sensitive to both phonological and orthographic information within words, while the lower reading proficiency group was only sensitive to orthographic information; only orthographic processing skills significantly contributed to the word meaning retrieval of individuals in the higher reading proficiency group, while phonological processing skills were the only predictor for the lower reading proficiency group. These results suggest that the use of phonological and orthographic information vary as a function of L2 learners’ English reading proficiency. Implications regarding the changing patterns of L1 influences and the language-universal and language-specific aspects of word recognition were discussed. Full article
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10 pages, 268 KiB  
Article
Chinese Students Learning English as a Second Language
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14020180 - 10 Feb 2024
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Abstract
The way in which different cities teach children to read in Chinese may have an impact on the skills they later utilize to acquire English word reading skills. This study examined the relative contributions of several cognitive–linguistic measures to English word reading for [...] Read more.
The way in which different cities teach children to read in Chinese may have an impact on the skills they later utilize to acquire English word reading skills. This study examined the relative contributions of several cognitive–linguistic measures to English word reading for Chinese students learning English as a second language in two Chinese cities, one whose school system teaches Pinyin (Beijing) and one whose school system does not teach Pinyin (Hong Kong). Students in grades 2–3 completed measures on Chinese morphological awareness (MA), Chinese phonological awareness (PA), Pinyin writing, and English word reading. In the Beijing group, it was found that PA (β = 0.334, p < 0.01) and Pinyin (β = 0.257, p < 0.05) were significant predictors of English word reading. In contrast, in the Hong Kong group, only MA (β = 0.263, p < 0.05) was found to be a significant predictor of English word reading. The difference in predictors could be due to the availability of a phonological tool (Pinyin) for the Beijing students when learning Chinese, while the Hong Kong group may have relied more heavily on learning using MA and rote memory techniques. Overall, the results from this study provide data supporting the benefits of having a phonological tool like Pinyin for Chinese children when learning to read in English. Full article
16 pages, 825 KiB  
Article
Bilingual Home Literacy Experiences and Early Biliteracy Development among Chinese–Canadian First Graders
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13080808 - 06 Aug 2023
Viewed by 889
Abstract
This study was designed to examine the role of early bilingual home literacy experiences (HLE) (including parent–child shared reading, parents’ direct teaching in Chinese and English, the availability of books in both languages, and children’s access to digital devices for bilingual learning) in [...] Read more.
This study was designed to examine the role of early bilingual home literacy experiences (HLE) (including parent–child shared reading, parents’ direct teaching in Chinese and English, the availability of books in both languages, and children’s access to digital devices for bilingual learning) in the biliteracy development of 66 Chinese–Canadian first graders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Descriptive analyses reveal that overall, parents report higher engagement in English than in Chinese across the four HLE measures. Parent’s engagement in bilingual HLE differs by gender, SES, and immigration status. Pearson correlational analyses of English reading, decoding, and bilingual oral receptive vocabulary reveal that the four dimensions of HLE are not strongly related to English early literacy skills but are positively related to Chinese receptive vocabulary. Finally, hierarchical regression analyses indicate that the availability of books in Chinese and parent–child shared reading in Chinese are key factors associated with Chinese receptive vocabulary score variance; the amount of time using digital devices is found to be significantly related to English reading comprehension, but not Chinese vocabulary; and parents’ direct teaching is not significant with either English early literacy skills or Chinese receptive vocabulary. These findings have important implications for parental engagement in early bilingual home literacy activities and early literacy instruction in school. Full article
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