Many studies have shown that learning to read in a second language (L2) is similar, in many ways, to learning to read in a first language (L1). Nevertheless, reading development also relies upon oral language proficiency and is greatly influenced by orthographic consistency. This longitudinal study aimed to analyze the role of linguistic predictors (phonological awareness, letter knowledge, pseudoword repetition, morphosyntactic comprehension, lexical knowledge and rapid naming) in reading outcomes (fluency, accuracy and comprehension) in a group of bilingual children (n = 30) reading Italian as an L2, compared to a group of monolingual children (n = 56). We ran a multi-group structural equation model. Our findings showed that rapid automatized naming was a significant predictor of reading speed in both groups. However, the study revealed different patterns of predictors for reading accuracy, predictors for monolinguals being LK, phonological awareness and lexical knowledge, while pseudoword repetition was a predictor for bilinguals. Morphosyntactic comprehension was the most significant predictor of comprehension skills in bilingual children. Implications for clinical and educational settings are discussed.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 8, 2017
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