Derivational Morphology in Reading Comprehension of Chinese-speaking Learners of English: A Longitudinal Structural Equation Modeling Study
Oxford University Press (OUP)
© Oxford University Press 2016
This longitudinal study examined the contribution of morphological awareness to English as a Second Language (ESL) reading comprehension. Young Chinese-speaking ESL learners completed twice with a one-year interval the same set of tasks that measured derivational awareness, vocabulary breadth, fluency of reading derived words, and passage comprehension. Structural Equation Modeling analyses revealed that at both Time 1 and Time 2, morphological awareness had a significant direct effect on reading comprehension over and above vocabulary knowledge, and such an effect became stronger over time. A significant indirect effect of morphological awareness on reading comprehension was also observed at both times. However, how the indirect effect was achieved varied across times. Longitudinally, Time 1 morphological awareness failed to significantly predict Time 2 reading comprehension over and above Time 1 reading comprehension and vocabulary knowledge; however, an indirect effect through the latter two variables was significant. This study indicates an increasingly important role of morphology in ESL reading comprehension, and highlights a need of explicit teaching of morphology to facilitate ESL learners’ reading development.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from OUP via the DOI in this record
Vol. 38 (6), pp. 871–895