Past studies have shown that phonological representations and conscious access to those representations are crucial in learning to read an alphabetic script. Our study has extended this line of research by investigating these links on second language acquisition. A sample of 294 Hong Kong Chinese children were tested on English tasks of phonological representations (speech perception and speech production), phonological awareness (rime detection, and syllable and phoneme deletion), and a English word reading measure. Phonological representations could have a) a direct impact on reading development, b) an indirect impact on reading development through the mediating effects of phonological awareness, or c) no relationship with reading skills. Results of Structural Equation Modelling suggested that the data was better fitted with the Indirect Model. Further examination of the beta weights on different pathways in the models showed that the quality of phonological representations was not sufficient to enhance reading abilities. Instead, good phonological representation was essential to the development of meta-linguistic skills which in turn fostered reading development in L2.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|