Profiling Adult L2 Readers in English Bridge Programs: A Not-So-Simple View of L1 Effect

Xiaomeng Li, Ryan T. Miller, Jing Zhang, Sihui Ke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to validate the Simple View of Reading (SVR) in L2 English readers with alphabetic and morphosyllabic L1 writing system backgrounds. Forty-five L2 English learners enrolled in American university bridge programs completed a set of tasks that measured real word decoding efficiency, pseudoword decoding efficiency, linguistic (listening) comprehension, passage reading comprehension, and word meaning inferencing. There were two major findings: (1) only pseudoword decoding efficiency predicted passage reading comprehension in learners with a morphosyllabic L1, whereas both pseudoword decoding efficiency and linguistic comprehension were significant predictors in learners with an alphabetic L1; (2) pseudoword decoding efficiency was a significant predictor of word meaning inferencing in learners with a morphosyllabic L1, and moderated the effect of real word decoding efficiency on word meaning inference in learners with an alphabetic L1. The findings indicate the complex relationships among word decoding, linguistic comprehension, and passage reading comprehension in adult L2 English learners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1471-1496
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Adult second language acquisition
  • Decoding threshold hypothesis
  • First language writing system
  • Linguistic threshold hypothesis
  • Simple View of Reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • General Psychology


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