Oral Reading Rate, Reading Comprehension, and Listening Comprehension in Learners of EFL

| March 19, 2014

Oral Reading Rate, Reading Comprehension, and Listening Comprehension in Learners of EFL

Keywords: Reading comprehension, habitual and maximum reading rates, listening comprehension, ESL readers


Kusumi Vasantha Dhanapala and Jun Yamada
Hiroshima University, Japan


Kusumi Vasantha Dhanapala, Ph.D., was a Reading Researcher at the Graduate School of International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, Japan where she worked on a cross-cultural project based on EFL/ESL reading. Her research interests include EFL/ESL reading vocabulary development, curriculum development, and language testing and evaluation.

Jun Yamada, Ph.D., is Professor at the Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University. He is interested in psycholinguistic issues including dyslexia, reading in ESL/EFL, and stuttering. He has published many papers in journals including Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, Brain and Language, and Dyslexia.


This study, motivated by child reading research in L1, explored the relationships between: 1) Two oral reading rates; 2) Reading comprehension; and 3) Listening comprehension in English in Japanese learners of English as a foreign language (EFL).  Results unexpectedly showed that the correlations between two rates and two modes of comprehension were low or non-significant, which are in marked contrast to high correlations reported for English-speaking children.  In addition, and more surprisingly, the EFL readers exhibited only small incremental or even detrimental changes from habitual to maximum rate.  These unexpected results are discussed in terms of English language teaching/learning practice and the possible effects of Japanese speech and orthography.


Category: Quarterly Journal