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Volume 12 Number 1, Spring 2015, Pages 1-168   


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The Impact of L1 Reading Directionality Mode on L2 Reading Fluency

    Bakhtiar Naghdipour


Cross-orthography research has thus far focused on the effect of learners' first language (L1) reading ability in alphabetic or non-alphabetic languages on their second language (L2) reading performance, paying scant attention to the different aspects of L2 reading performance in learners of two alphabetic languages that have different writing systems or reading directionality modes. This study, however, examines the impact of L1 reading directionality on English reading fluency–represented here by a combination of reading rate, reading accuracy, and reading comprehension–in Turkish and Arab learners of English. Different reading texts from both first and second languages were employed to compare undergraduate intermediate students' (n = 40) performance on different components of reading fluency. Students were also interviewed upon the completion of the tasks in order to obtain in-depth insights into the way they approached reading and the challenges they encountered while reading in each language. Analysis of the data indicated that in spite of significant differences in some areas, the learners' L1 reading directionality mode did not have a significant effect on all aspects of their reading fluency in English. However, the observed differences between the mean scores of reading fluency components could have pedagogical implications for classroom practice.

Keywords: writing system, reading directionality mode, Arabic, Turkish, EFL



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