Predicting foreign language reading achievement in elementary school students

Janina Kahn-Horwitz, Joseph Shimron, Richard L. Sparks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This study examined whether factors affecting first language reading acquisition also affect English Foreign Language (EFL) reading acquisition. Hebrew (L1) and EFL reading related measures were administrated to 145 fourth graders from the north of Israel who were beginning their first year of English instruction. Results from a Linear Structural Equational Analysis (LISREL) showed that the Hebrew independent variable consisting of morphological and phonological awareness, orthographic ability, and word reading (accuracy and speed) predicted EFL knowledge of letter sounds and names, word attack and reading comprehension. In addition to the Hebrew independent variable, English word recognition (accuracy and speed) predicted English reading comprehension. These results support the Linguistic Coding Differences Hypothesis (LCDH), which argues for core linguistic abilities that influence first and subsequent language reading acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-558
Number of pages32
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquisition
  • Foreign language
  • Reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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