The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

Current Issue

Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21, No. 0, pp.211-225
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Received 15 Feb 2021 Revised 15 Mar 2021 Accepted 25 Mar 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15738/kjell.21..202103.211

The Role of English Proficiency in the Interactions of Phonological Awareness and Reading/Listening Comprehension
Huan Sun ; Borim Lee
(1st author) Graduate Student, Dept. of English Language and Literature, Wonkwang Univ, Tel: 063-850-6153 (lucylangte@qq.com)
(corresponding author) Professor, Dept. of English Language and Literature, Wonkwang Univ, Tel: 063-850-6875 (brlee@wku.ac.kr)


© 2021 KASELL All rights reserved
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funding Information ▼

Abstract

The goal of this study was to investigate the role of English proficiency in the interactions of Chinese college EFL students’ phonological awareness (PA) skills and their English reading and listening comprehension abilities. Seventy-four college students were divided into two proficiency groups based on their English test scores for the Chinese college entrance examination. Since it is known that PA often works via word decoding and that vocabulary size is also an important factor in language comprehension, a total of five types of tasks were administered: PA, word decoding, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension. The results first showed that, as was expected, the high proficiency group (HP) performed significantly better than the low proficiency group (LP) in all five tasks. Then Pearson correlation analyses showed that PA had a significant correlation with reading and listening comprehension abilities in LP, but not in HP. The subsequent regression analyses conducted for LP revealed that, PA made an indirect contribution to reading comprehension through word decoding and uniquely contributed to listening comprehension. PA, which was measured in three divided sub-variables (phoneme, onset-rime, and syllable), was significantly related to word decoding in both groups, but word decoding was more closely connected to phonemic awareness in HP while it was to onset-rime awareness in LP. These results suggest that learners with different English proficiency levels are in the different developmental stages of PA skills, and that these skills are especially essential for the low proficiency learners in improving their reading and listening abilities. The results of this study, therefore, offer some pedagogical implications in the English classrooms with less-skilled adult learners.


Keywords: phonological awareness, English proficiency, word decoding, vocabulary, reading and listening comprehension, Chinese college EFL learners

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by Wonkwang University in 2020.


References
1. Akamatsu, N. 2003. The effects of first language orthographic features on second language reading in text. Language Learning 53, 207-231.
2. Bell, L. and C. A. Perfetti. 1994. Reading skill: Some adult comparisons. Journal of Educational Psychology 86, 244-255.
3. Binder, K. S. and C. S. Lee. 2012. Reader profiles for adults with low literacy skills: A quest to find resilient readers. Journal of Research and Practice for Adult Literacy, Secondary, and Basic Education 1(2), 78-90.
4. Borodkin, K. and M. Faust. 2014. Naming abilities in low-proficiency second language learners. Journal of Learning Disabilities 47, 237-253.
5. Cameron, J. 1996. Phonological Awareness and Adult Beginning Readers. Carleton University.
6. Carlson, E., F. Jenkins, T. Li and M. Brownell. 2013. The interactions of vocabulary, phonemic awareness, decoding, and reading comprehension. The Journal of Educational Research 106(2), 120-131.
7. Castles, A. and M. Coltheart. 2004. Is there a causal link from phonological awareness to success in learning to read? Cognition 91(1), 77-111.
8. Chen, A. H. 2013. EFL listeners’ strategy development and listening problems: A process-based study. The Journal of Asia TEFL 10(3), 81-101.
9. Cheung, H. 2007. The role of phonological awareness in mediating between reading and listening to speech. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience 22(1), 130-154.
10. Cheung, H., H. C. Chen, C. Y. Lai, O. C. Wong and M. Hills. 2001. The development of phonological awareness: Effects of spoken language experience and orthography. Cognition 81(3), 227-241.
11. Coltheart, M. 2006. Dual route and connectionist models of reading: An overview. London Review of Education 4(1), 5-17.
12. Field, J. 2009. Listening in the Language Classroom. Cambridge University Press.
13. Fowler, A. E. 1991. How early phonological development might set the stage for phoneme awareness. Phonological Processes in Literacy: A Tribute to Isabelle Y. Liberman 106, 97-117.
14. Gathercole, S. E. 1995. Is nonword repetition a test of phonological memory or long-term knowledge? It all depends on the nonwords. Memory and Cognition 23, 83-94.
15. Gilbert, J. K., D. L. Compton and D. M. Kearns. 2011. Word and person effects on decoding accuracy: A new look at an old question. Journal of Educational Psychology 103(2), 489.
16. Gillon, G. T. 2017. Phonological Awareness: From Research to Practice. Guilford Publications.
17. Goh, C. C. 2000. A cognitive perspective on language learners' listening comprehension problems. System 28(1), 55-75.
18. Goswami, U. and M. East. 2000. Rhyme and analogy in beginning reading: Conceptual and methodological issues. Applied Psycholinguistics 21(1), 63-93.
19. Gottardo, A. and A. Lafrance. 2005. A longitudinal study of phonological processing skills and reading in bilingual children. Applied Psycholinguistics 26(4), 559-578.
20. Holopainen, L., T. Ahonen, A. Tolvanen and H. Lyytinen. 2000. Two alternative ways to model the relation between reading accuracy and phonological awareness at preschool age. Scientific Studies of Reading 4(2), 77-100.
21. Hulme, C., P. Hatcher, K. Nation, A. Brown, J. Adams and G. Stuart. 2002. Phoneme awareness is a better predictor of early reading skill than onset-rime awareness. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 82(1), 2-28.
22. Hulme, C., M. Snowling, M. Caravolas and J. Carroll. 2005. Phonological skills are (probably) one cause of success in learning to read: A comment on Castles and Coltheart. Scientific studies of reading 9(4), 351-365.
23. Inutsuka, K. 2009. Component skills analyses for Japanese adult second language readers: The role of cognitive and linguistic skills and processing speed in predicting reader performance. Doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto.
24. Joshi, R. M. and P. G. Aaron. 2000. The component model of reading: Simple view of reading made a little more complex. Reading Psychology 21(2), 85-97.
25. Koda, K. 1998. The role of phonemic awareness in second language reading. Second Language Research 14(2), 194-215.
26. Lee, K. M. 2011. Relative Contributions of Phonological Awareness and Orthographic Knowledge to the Reading Proficiency of Chinese Students Learning English as a Foreign Language. Doctoral dissertation, University of Houston, USA.
27. Li, M., L. Cheng and J. R. Kirby. 2012. Phonological awareness and listening comprehension among Chinese English-immersion students. International Education 41, 46-65.
28. Macaruso, P. and D. Shankweiler. 2010. Expanding the simple view of reading in accounting for reading skills in community college students. Reading Psychology 31(5), 454-471.
29. McBride-Chang, C., H. Cheung, B. Y. Chow, C. L. Chow and L. Choi. 2006. Metalinguistic skills and vocabulary knowledge in Chinese (L1) and English (L2). Reading and Writing, 19(7), 695-716.
30. McBride-Chang, C. and R. V. Kail. 2002. Cross–cultural similarities in the predictors of reading acquisition. Child development 73(5), 1392-1407.
31. McBride-Chang, C., E. Bialystok, K. K.Chong and Y. Li, . (2004). Levels of phonological awareness in three cultures. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 89(2), 93-111.
32. Nassaji, H. 2014. The role and importance of lower-level processes in second language reading. Language Teaching 47(1), 1.
33. Nation, N. and C. Hulme. 1997. Phonemic segmentation, not onset-rime segmentation, predicts early reading and spelling skills. Reading Research Quarterly 32, 154-167.
34. Ramirez, G., X. Chen, E. Geva and Y. Luo. 2011. Morphological awareness and word reading in English language learners: Evidence from Spanish-and Chinese-speaking children. Applied Psycholinguistics 32(3), 601.
35. Rau, A. K., K. Moeller and K. Landerl. 2014. The transition from sublexical to lexical processing in a consistent orthography: An eye-tracking study. Scientific Studies of Reading 18(3), 224-233.
36. Rosner, J. 1975. Helping Children Overcome Learning Difficulties. New York: Walker and Company.
37. Rost, M. 2006. Areas of research that influence L2 listening instruction. In E. Uso-Juan and A. Martinez-Flor, eds., Current Trend in the Development and Teaching of the Four Language Skills, 47-74. Berlin: Mounton de Gruyter.
38. Rost, M. 2011. Teaching and Researching Listening (2nd ed.). Routledge.
39. Schmitt, N., X. Jiang and W. Grabe. 2011. The percentage of words known in a text and reading comprehension. The Modern Language Journal 95, 26‒26.
40. Seidenberg, M. S. 1992. Beyond orthographic depth in reading: Equitable division of labor. Advances in Psychology 94, 85-118.
41. Seidenberg, M. S. 2005. Connectionist models of word reading. Current Directions in Psychological Science 14(5), 238-242.
42. Shapiro, L. R. and J. Solity. 2008. Delivering phonological and phonics training within whole class teaching. The British Journal of Educational Psychology 78(4), 597-620.
43. Sieh, Y. C. 2016. Vocabulary size, phonological awareness, and reading comprehension. Studies in English Language Teaching 4(3), 299-313.
44. Snow, C. E., M. S. Burns and P. Griffin. 1998. Preventing reading failure in young children. Preventing Reading Failure in Young Children with Phonological Processing Disabilities: Group and Individual Responses to Instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology 91(4), 579-593.
45. Snowling, M. J., J. Stackhouse and J. P. Rack. 1986. Phonological dyslexia and dysgraphia: A developmental analysis. Cognitive Neuropsychology 3, 309-339.
46. Stahr, L. S. 2008. Vocabulary size and the skills of listening, reading and writing. Language Learning Journal 36(2), 139-152.
47. Stanovich, K. E. 2000. Progress in Understanding Reading: Scientific Foundations and New Frontiers. New York: Guilford Press.
48. Torgesen, J. K. and P. G. Mathes. 1998. What Every Teacher Should Know about Phonological Awareness. Florida Department of Education, Division of Schools and Community Education, Bureau of Instructional Support and Community Services.
49. Treiman, R. and A. Zukowski. 1996. Children’s sensitivity to syllable, onsets, rimes, and phonemes. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 61, 193-215.
50. Vandergrift, L. 2007. Recent developments in second and foreign language listening comprehension research. language Teaching 40(3), 191-210.
51. Vandergrift, L. and C. C. M. Goh. 2012. Teaching and Learning Second Language Listening. Routledge.
52. Warmington, M. and H. Culme. 2012. Phonemic awareness, visual-verbal paired-associate learning, and rapid automatized naming as predictors of individual differences in reading ability. Scientific Studies of Reading 16(1), 45-62.
53. Yaghoub Zadeh, Z., F. Farnia and E. Geva. 2012. Toward modeling reading development in young English as second language learners. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal 25, 163-187.
54. Yopp, H. K. and R. H. Yopp. 2009. Phonological awareness is child’s play! YC Young Children 64(1), 12-21.
55. Yoshikawa, L. and J. Yamashita. 2014. Phonemic awareness and reading comprehension among Japanese adult learners of English. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics 4(04), 471-480.
56. Ziegler, J. C. and U. Goswami. 2005. Reading acquisition, developmental dyslexia, and skilled reading across languages: A psycholinguistic grain size theory. Psychological Bulletin 131(1), 3-29.