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Second Language Reading Research and Instruction: Crossing the Boundaries

Jung, Jookyoung

Second language (L2) reading serves dual roles in L2 learning – both as a literacy skill for comprehension and as a source of L2 input (Eskey, 2005; Grabe, 1991). However, L2 reading researchers have traditionally focused on either one of the two dimensions at a time, with the other largely unattended, as is reflected in the discrepancies between literacy-oriented research and language-oriented research. With its primary goal being comprehension, literacy-oriented research has fueled most notably a whole language approach, and a skills approach, to L2 reading instruction. The whole language approach highlights the importance of higher-level processes based on background knowledge, whereas the skills approach emphasizes lower-level processes such as orthographic processing, morphological analysis, and word recognition, among others. By contrast, with language-oriented research, the acquisition approach conceptualizes reading as a vehicle for delivering L2 input that is conducive to the development of L2 competence. As can be expected, the theoretical and pedagogical chasms among these approaches have thus yielded unbalanced views on the nature of L2 reading and, more importantly, on its relationship with L2 acquisition.

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Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics

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Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
November 5, 2015