Based on the Simple View of Reading, the present study investigates whether component skills of reading differ between adolescents from low-track schools speaking German as a first (L1) versus as a second language (L2). In our study, 479 9th-grade students completed the Programme for International Student Assessment reading test as well as measures of working memory, reading fluency, reading vocabulary, morpho-syntactic skills, phonological awareness, and listening comprehension. Results indicate that L2 students lagged behind their L1 peers on most measures. After controlling for students’ socioeconomic status, only L2 students with Turkish as a first language continued to show weaknesses in linguistic skills. Linguistic comprehension as well as reading fluency were associated with reading comprehension in all groups of students. We observed only a few group differences in the relationships between component skills of reading and reading comprehension. The results suggest that reading fluency is important for reading comprehension of L1 and L2 readers from low-track schools and that socioeconomic background partially accounts for group differences in component skills of reading.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 21, 2015
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