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Volume 12 Number 3, Autumn 2015, Pages 1-147 PDF Download

Roles of L1 and L2 Derivational Morphological Awareness in L2 Reading Through the Mediation of L2 Vocabulary Knowledge

    Yeon Hee Choi

The present study aims to explore the direct and indirect contribution of L1 and L2 derivational morphological awareness of Korean EFL high school and university students to their reading comprehension in L2 through the mediation of L2 vocabulary knowledge by using structural equation modeling analysis. Eighty-five high school and eighty-two university students were assessed on their Korean L1 and English L2 derivational morphological awareness and English L2 reading comprehension and vocabulary knowledge. The results of the study present a significant direct contribution of L2 derivational morphological awareness and L2 vocabulary knowledge to L2 reading comprehension. The contribution of L2 derivational morphological awareness appeared larger than L2 vocabulary knowledge, which suggests a relatively more important role of the former than the latter in L2 reading comprehension. They also reveal a significant indirect contribution of L1 derivational morphological awareness via L2 derivational morphological awareness to L2 reading comprehension but not that of L2 derivational morphological awareness via L2 vocabulary knowledge. Findings from the study suggest potential benefits of cross-linguistic transfer of derivational morphological knowledge as well as of L2 derivational morphology intervention in L2 reading development.

Keywords: morphological awareness, reading comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, cross-linguistic transfer, second language, English as a foreign language