Exploring the Simple View of Reading in Two Adult French as a Second Language Groups
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The Simple View of Reading is a theoretical model that explains reading comprehension as a product of listening comprehension – the process and ability to understand information by listening – and decoding – the ability to make a letter-sound correspondence to process written information (Gough & Tunmer, 1986). The present study uses the Simple View of Reading model to explore reading comprehension in two different second language-learning groups – the first group from a Core French background (n=16) and the second group from a French Immersion background (n=19). These are both adult groups who completed initial programming in French as a Second Language in secondary school and were studying French at the university level. The Simple View of Reading has often been used to predict reading comprehension outcomes for children from both first language settings and second or foreign language settings. The present study seeks to compare the skills associated with the Simple View of Reading within the two aforementioned groups, the first of which did not receive as much French instruction as the second (compare 600 hours to 3800 hours by end of high school for each respective group; Ministry of Education, 2013a). This study fills the gaps in research by using a sample of adult participants in a Canadian context that looks specifically at how two different French programming backgrounds both lead to the development of reading skills and the way in which reading comprehension is accounted for by three essential aspects – listening comprehension, decoding, and the Simple View of Reading model itself. The results are somewhat consistent with the research that show that listening comprehension and decoding are significant predictors of reading comprehension, however, there is not enough evidence in the present study to show that the Simple View of Reading is a significant predictor of reading comprehension.