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Volume 17 Number 3, Autumn 2020, Pages 758-1157 PDF Download

Relative Contribution of Reading Fluency and Vocabulary Knowledge in Predicting Korean EFL Learners' Reading Comprehension

    Yusun Kang

Despite the growing body of research evidence validating the Simple View of Reading (SVR) which highlights decoding and listening comprehension abilities as the prominent contributors of reading comprehension, there have been concerns regarding the need to augment it to consider other relevant variables. For advanced readers whose decoding skills are fully developed, an alternate code-related skill such as reading fluency needs to be considered. This is especially pertinent for second language readers whose phonics skills tend to be superior to their language abilities. Another concern has not only been with the need to consider vocabulary knowledge as an independent predictor, but also with the need to discern the contribution of both quantity and quality of vocabulary knowledge. Although there have been numerous studies showing the significant relationship between reading comprehension and both vocabulary breadth and depth, these have been rarely looked at discretely in the SVR framework. This study investigated the relative contribution of vocabulary breadth, vocabulary depth, and reading fluency to secondary Korean EFL learners' reading comprehension within an augmented SVR model. The findings indicated that although all of the considered predictors were significantly related to their reading comprehension, only listening comprehension and vocabulary depth demonstrated significant unique contribution.

Keywords: Simple View of Reading, reading fluency, vocabulary breadth, vocabulary depth, Korean EFL learners