Foreign language comprehension achievement: Insights from the cognate facilitation effect

Casaponsa, Aina and Antón, Eneko and Pérez, Alejandro and Duñabeitia, Jon Andoni (2015) Foreign language comprehension achievement: Insights from the cognate facilitation effect. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. ISSN 1664-1078

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Numerous studies have shown that the native language influences foreign word recognition and that this influence is modulated by the proficiency in the non-native language. Here we explored how the degree of reliance on cross-language similarity (as measured by the cognate facilitation effect) together with other domain-general cognitive factors contribute to reading comprehension achievement in a non-native language at different stages of the learning process. We tested two groups of native speakers of Spanish learning English at elementary and intermediate levels in an academic context. A regression model approach showed that domain-general cognitive skills are good predictors of second language reading achievement independently of the level of proficiency. Critically, we found that individual differences in the degree of reliance on the native language predicted foreign language reading achievement, showing a markedly different pattern between proficiency groups. At lower levels of proficiency the cognate facilitation effect was positively related with reading achievement, while this relation became negative at intermediate levels of foreign language learning. We conclude that the link between native- and foreign-language lexical representations helps participants at initial stages of the learning process, whereas it is no longer the case at intermediate levels of proficiency, when reliance on cross-language similarity is inversely related to successful non-native reading achievement. Thus, at intermediate levels of proficiency strong and direct mappings from the non-native lexical forms to semantic concepts are needed to achieve good non-native reading comprehension, in line with the premises of current models of bilingual lexico-semantic organization.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Frontiers in Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200
Subjects:
ID Code:
86406
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
24 May 2017 10:58
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Nov 2020 07:25