Diagnosing reading in a second or foreign language

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Linguistics and English Language

Abstract

The aim of this study is to enhance our understanding of how the ability to read in a second or foreign language (SFL) develops, how to identify strengths and weaknesses in SFL reading ability, and what factors influence progress in reading in a second or foreign language and in one's first language (L1).



The study will investigate the relationship between L1 reading and SFL reading. It will also explore how best to diagnose strengths and weaknesses in SFL reading.



The research consists of three related sub-projects:






  1. Will examine the nature of the constructs that underly the PISA international comparative studies of L1 reading.


  2. Will study diagnostic measures of L1 reading and how well they are able to predict difficulties in SFL reading, based on the Finnish National Certificates in English.


  3. Will explore the construct that underpins a new test of reading in English as a second or foreign language for academic purposes - the Pearson Test of English (Academic).



On the basis of the findings of the three studies, the research will contribute to the construction of more effective, theoretically sound and useful diagnostic tests of SFL reading.