L2 Reading: An Update on Relevant L1 Research


  • Carol M. Brown Ph.D.

    1. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
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      Carol M. Brown (Ph.D., Florida State University) is Assistant Professor of French at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.


ABSTRACT  First language (L1) reading research, from the psycholinguistic view of reading proposed by Goodman (1967) to schema theory and the interactive reading view (Rumelhart 1977), has had a major impact on second language (L2) reading research. There was a substantial lag in time, however, before these L1 theories were adapted and proposed for L2 reading. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to introduce the L2 researcher to the relevant and current L1 text comprehension issues and theories to help close this gap. Such issues involve 1) levels of representation, especially the situation model, 2) the role of memory in comprehension, 3) content of knowledge structures and inferencing, and 4) the explanation-based theory of text comprehension. L2 reading research and instruction has much to gain by addressing and investigating these issues.