This longitudinal study investigated cross-linguistic transfer from native to foreign language decoding abilities in 787 Dutch first-year students in two differential tracks (high vs low) of secondary education. On two occasions, with a six months interval, we tested the students' word and pseudoword decoding fluency in their native language (Dutch) and their word decoding fluency in two foreign languages, English (L2) and French (L3). Our findings indicated that students' English word decoding development primarily depended on Dutch word decoding fluency. The development of their French decoding skills was mainly dependent on their Dutch pseudoword decoding fluency, and in the higher educational track also on their L2 word decoding ability. It is concluded that there is evidence of linguistic interdependencies in the development of word decoding in the native language and the subsequent development of word decoding in the foreign language. Theoretical as well as practical implications are discussed.
Learning and Individual Differences – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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