- Does training of second-language word recognition skills affect reading comprehension? An experimental study
- The Modern Language Journal
- Volume | Issue number
- 89 | 1
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- The Kohnstamm Instituut
Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
Two classroom-based experiments investigated automatization of lexical access in a second language (L2) with a computer-based training, involving a Grade 8 population in the Netherlands, with Dutch first language (L1) and intermediate knowledge of L2 English. Results of the first experiment showed that the students' lexical access was faster and less variable for words on which they were trained than for words on which they were not trained. In the second experiment, lexical access for some words was accelerated but was not more automatic. There was no transfer of acceleration of lexical access to reading speed or to higher-order text comprehension. Various explanations for the findings are considered and the notion of automatization of L2 word recognition is discussed. Further research should follow up on this study, which is the first one to test a possible causal link between speed of word access and higher-order L2 reading comprehension.
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