Purpose: The relationships among speech, phonology and reading abilities in first language reading development are postulated by various theoretical viewpoints, for example, 1) Autonomous Phonology, 2) Bootstrapping, 3) Independent Phonology, and 4) Lexical Restructuring. In this study, we studied the extent to which these theoretical frameworks are applicable to explain second language (L2) reading development among Chinese learners of English. Method: A sample of 287 Chinese children aged from 3 to 11 years was tested with a battery of English tasks measuring speech perception, phonological awareness, phonological memory, vocabulary and visual word recognition. Adopting the “component skills analysis” approach, we constructed four path analysis models and evaluated the overall fit of the models. Using a model-modification approach, the models with optimal goodness-of-fit were obtained. Results: First, the model fitting results confirmed the significance of all the component skills in English reading development among the Chinese learners. Second, the results showed that each component skill influenced the L2 reading system in multiple ways. Conclusions: Speech, phonology and reading abilities in second language reading development are not only linked casually but interactively. Therefore, it is important to keep track of the dynamics in the L2 reading system in the course of L2 reading development. Copyright © 2013 Society for the Scientific Studies of Reading (SSSR).
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2013|