The Dynamic Cognitive Processes of Second Language Reading Fluency
|Shimono, Torrin Robert
|Second language (L2) reading fluency has not received sufficient attention in the field of second language acquisition (SLA) and applied linguistics, especially regarding the types of treatments that promote reading fluency (Grabe, 2009). Hence, this study was a longitudinal, quasi-experimental investigation of the effects of timed reading, repeated oral reading, and extensive reading on the development of reading fluency among Japanese university students. The eight purposes of this study were to: (a) better understand how timed reading, repeated oral reading, and extensive reading treatments contribute to reading fluency in terms of reading rate and comprehension over one academic year; (b) distinguish how extensive reading, timed reading, and repeated oral reading treatments differentially promote reading fluency; (c) elucidate on how timed reading, repeated oral reading, and extensive reading treatments affect the automatization of word recognition sub-processes over time; (d) investigate differences between the reading fluency treatment groups in terms of their word recognition sub-processes; (e) further understand how reading fluency treatments contribute to oral reading fluency; (f) examine differences in oral reading fluency between the reading fluency treatment groups; (g) determine how reading fluency training affects learners’ perception of their L2 reading self-efficacy; and (h) shed light on differences in L2 reading self-efficacy between reading fluency treatment groups. This study was conducted in a private university in western Japan. The participants (N = 101) were first- and second-year Japanese university students. These participants formed four quasi-experimental groups: (a) Group 1, labeled as the oral reading group, received a reading fluency treatment consisting of extensive reading, timed reading, and repeated oral reading; (b) Group 2, the timed reading group, participated in extensive reading and timed reading; (c) Group 3, the extensive reading group, did extensive reading only; and (d) Group 4, the comparison group, practiced speaking and communication activities. Data for this study were obtained using the following instruments: a vocabulary size test, timed reading tests, timed reading practice passages used throughout the treatment period, an extensive reading test, a lexical decision task, an antonym semantic decision task, a pseudoword homophone judgment task, an oral reading task, and an L2 reading self-efficacy questionnaire, a utility of the reading fluency treatments questionnaire, as well as individual interviews with 20 of the participants. Excluding the vocabulary size test, the timed reading treatment passages, the utility of the reading fluency treatments questionnaire, and the interviews, the other measures were administered three times over the course of one academic year—once prior, once in the middle, and once at the end of the reading fluency treatment period. Prior to conducting quantitative analyses on the data gathered with the instruments mentioned above, the L2 reading self-efficacy questionnaire data were analyzed using the Rasch rating-scale model in order to confirm the validity and reliability of the instrument as well as to transform the raw scores into equal interval measures. In addition, the Rasch model was used to check for interrater reliability and rater severity of the scores of the oral reading task. Data cleaning procedures were also applied to the reaction time and reading rate data. The data were then analyzed using repeated-measures ANOVAs and MAN(C)OVAs in order to ascertain differences in within-subjects and between-subjects measures. The results showed that the three reading fluency treatment groups made significant within-subjects increases in their reading fluency with the oral reading group making the most reading rate gains, followed by the timed reading group, and the extensive reading group. Moreover, the oral reading group generally outperformed the other groups on reading rate measures. However, the extensive reading group did not significantly outperform the comparison group. In addition, while the timed reading group had the fastest word recognition reaction times, the oral reading group made the most gains in orthographic, semantic, and phonological processing. Furthermore, no significant differences were found between the groups on orthographic processing, but the oral reading group, timed reading group had significantly faster semantic and phonological processing reaction times compared to the comparison group. With regards to oral reading fluency, the oral reading group made the most gains and achieved the highest scores, but the timed reading group also made significant gains. Finally, the oral reading groups’ L2 reading self-efficacy increased the most. The results of the study underscore the importance of using a multifaceted approach of extensive reading, timed reading, and repeated oral reading in the development of L2 reading fluency. Through this reading fluency training, the learners not only became more proficient readers in both silent and oral modes, but they also became more self-efficacious in L2 reading tasks. Ultimately, these learners became more empowered to achieve success in their L2 learning endeavors.
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|English as A Second Language
|Foreign Language Education
|The Dynamic Cognitive Processes of Second Language Reading Fluency
|Leeming, Ian Paul
|Teaching & Learning
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