Article published in:ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Vol. 125/126 (1999) ► pp. 229–251
Making sense in a Second Orthography
The importance of efficiently processing letters and gaining orthographic automaticity has been stressed in first language (L1) reading research. While this level has been well defined in L1 reading, it has received little attention in EFL reading, especially when the writing system in L1 differs from the one in L2. This study investigates the influence of L1 literacy and knowledge of a writing system (Farsi) on reading and processing Roman letters in English. Sixty students were selected from an Iranian university. Results showed that the students process strings of letters in Farsi and Roman script in the same way and produce upward M-shaped patterns. The findings are discussed in the light of the research for Arabic and other scripts. The implications for classroom practices in facilitating foreign language learners’ reading ability are also explored.
Keywords: reading strategies, reading in a foreign language, orthographic differences, script and reading comprehension, foreign language learning
Published online: 01 January 1999