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DOES L2 WORD DECODING IMPLY L2 MEANING ACTIVATION? RELATIONSHIPS AMONG DECODING, MEANING IDENTIFICATION, ANDL2 ORAL LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY IN READING SPANISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

Saiz, Marina (2007) DOES L2 WORD DECODING IMPLY L2 MEANING ACTIVATION? RELATIONSHIPS AMONG DECODING, MEANING IDENTIFICATION, ANDL2 ORAL LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY IN READING SPANISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.

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    Abstract

    This study investigated the role of meaning activation and L2 oral language proficiency among Moroccan children learning to read in Spanish for the first time. Recent cross-linguistic research suggests that children learning to read in an L1 or L2 transparent orthography can achieve phonological decoding accuracy faster by relying on grapheme-phoneme strategies. In that case, it becomes extremely important to investigate the role of meaning and its relation to the development of phonological decoding and reading comprehension, especially when children are learning to read in an L2 transparent orthography. The main objective of this study was to discover whether phonological decoding and meaning identification can be considered to be two independent constructs or only one. The second objective was to expand the scope of L2 Spanish oral language proficiency by examining its influence on each of these constructs and on sentence reading comprehension. A battery of measures for assessing the various domains of phonological awareness, decoding, meaning identification and sentence comprehension, were administered to 140 Moroccan children with at least one year of literacy instruction in Spain. Letter knowledge and concept of print were used as control variables. Confirmatory analysis results demonstrated that decoding and word identification form different but dependent constructs. Structural equation modeling indicated that the contribution of L2 oral language proficiency depended on the exact nature of the dependent variable: L2 oral language proficiency does not directly predict decoding skills but is directly related to meaning identification skills and sentence comprehension. The findings provided an understanding of the roles of meaning and L2 oral language proficiency in isolated word reading and sentence comprehension, and clearly implied that decoding and comprehension are more independent when learning to read in an L2 transparent orthography. L2 decoding in Spanish can take place without comprehension. Possible theoretical, instructional and assessment implications related to L2 Spanish reading development are drawn based on the study's results.


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    Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmailORCID
    Committee CoChairKoda, Keikokkoda@andrew.cmu.edu
    Committee CoChairDeKeyser, Robertrdk@umd.edu
    Committee MemberStiehm, Brucebgs@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberPerfetti, Charlesperfetti@pitt.edu
    Title: DOES L2 WORD DECODING IMPLY L2 MEANING ACTIVATION? RELATIONSHIPS AMONG DECODING, MEANING IDENTIFICATION, ANDL2 ORAL LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY IN READING SPANISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
    Status: Unpublished
    Abstract: This study investigated the role of meaning activation and L2 oral language proficiency among Moroccan children learning to read in Spanish for the first time. Recent cross-linguistic research suggests that children learning to read in an L1 or L2 transparent orthography can achieve phonological decoding accuracy faster by relying on grapheme-phoneme strategies. In that case, it becomes extremely important to investigate the role of meaning and its relation to the development of phonological decoding and reading comprehension, especially when children are learning to read in an L2 transparent orthography. The main objective of this study was to discover whether phonological decoding and meaning identification can be considered to be two independent constructs or only one. The second objective was to expand the scope of L2 Spanish oral language proficiency by examining its influence on each of these constructs and on sentence reading comprehension. A battery of measures for assessing the various domains of phonological awareness, decoding, meaning identification and sentence comprehension, were administered to 140 Moroccan children with at least one year of literacy instruction in Spain. Letter knowledge and concept of print were used as control variables. Confirmatory analysis results demonstrated that decoding and word identification form different but dependent constructs. Structural equation modeling indicated that the contribution of L2 oral language proficiency depended on the exact nature of the dependent variable: L2 oral language proficiency does not directly predict decoding skills but is directly related to meaning identification skills and sentence comprehension. The findings provided an understanding of the roles of meaning and L2 oral language proficiency in isolated word reading and sentence comprehension, and clearly implied that decoding and comprehension are more independent when learning to read in an L2 transparent orthography. L2 decoding in Spanish can take place without comprehension. Possible theoretical, instructional and assessment implications related to L2 Spanish reading development are drawn based on the study's results.
    Date: 26 June 2007
    Date Type: Completion
    Defense Date: 15 December 2006
    Approval Date: 26 June 2007
    Submission Date: 11 April 2007
    Access Restriction: No restriction; The work is available for access worldwide immediately.
    Patent pending: No
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
    URN: etd-04112007-083619
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Decoding; Literacy acquisition; Meaning Identification; Second language reading; Spanish as a second language; Word Recognition
    Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Hispanic Languages and Literatures
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 14:35
    Last Modified: 27 Apr 2012 12:00
    Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-04112007-083619/, etd-04112007-083619

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