L1 Literacy Strategy Impact on L2 Word-Priming Effects

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Clay Williams


Previous studies have shown that students studying an L2 whose orthography differs significantly from their L1 may exhibit problems in utilizing both lexical and non-lexical routes in processing L2 text at the word level. This study tests the relative levels of orthographic and phonological priming susceptibility of Japanese students, both in their L1 (Japanese) and in their L2 (English), in a lexical decision task using a masked priming paradigm. The resultant data shows limitations in L2 processing that appear to stem from an L1 interference effect occurring during word-level processing. Prior experimental data from Japanese and Chinese speaker populations will be used to demonstrate that there are language-specific word-processing strategies that, when misapplied to a dissimilar L2, can negatively affect the efficiency and proficiency of students’ word identification processes. The author will offer suggestions on how best to ameliorate the problem through targeted pedagogical approaches and techniques designed to assist learners in developing the L2-specific word identification processes needed for the development of effective reading skills.


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Author Biography

Clay Williams, Akita International University

Clay Williams, Akita International University, Yuwa, Akita-city 010-1292, JAPAN Email: williams@aiu.ac.jp


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