Individual Differences in Second-Language Reading Skill: Understanding the Role of Cross-Linguistic Interactions
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Despite substantial evidence demonstrating the existence of cross-linguistic interactions during second-language (L2) use, current models of L2 reading still lack an emphasis on the role of this unique predictor. The goal of this dissertation was to address this gap in the literature by testing a novel model of L2 reading in which individual differences in cross-linguistic interactions, and the predictors of such interactions, were investigated using structural equation modeling. In particular, it was hypothesized that increased first-language (L1) to L2 cross-linguistic interactions creates additional demands on the reader, and therefore results in poorer L2 reading skill. In support of this hypothesis, the findings revealed that L1 to L2 interactions negatively contributed to L2 reading skill. In addition, both variability in relative L1 to L2 proficiency and non-linguistic conflict management skills were shown to contribute to individual differences in L1 to L2 interactions. These results are important as they fill a critical gap in the current L2 reading literature, and provide a foundation on which both future work exploring the unique predictors of L2 reading skill and targeted L2 reading interventions can be built upon.
- Psychology