Second Language Reading and the Role of Grammar

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Jookyoung Jung


The paper reviews research on second language (L2) reading, focusing on the various factors involved, i.e., orthography, vocabulary, grammar, background knowledge, and metacognitive strategies. Based on the overview of L2 reading research, how grammar makes a unique contribution to L2 reading comprehension is emphasized. The discussion includes analysis of the distinctive roles served by background knowledge and linguistic knowledge, the comparative roles of L1 reading ability and L2 proficiency, and the relative weight of vocabulary and grammar in accounting for L2 reading comprehension. The paper concludes with issues for further consideration and suggestions for future studies on the relationship between grammatical knowledge and L2 reading comprehension.

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