Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Alexandra Gottardo

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Due to the changing nature of Canadian society, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of literature focusing on second language reading acquisition. In this particular study, Spanish-speaking students learning English as a second language (L2) were compared to students who speak English as a first language (L1) on various measures of reading ability and specifically on measures of print exposure, which assess extracurricular reading. Past literature on print exposure has found that print exposure questionnaires serve as significant predictors of variance in reading comprehension, word reading, among other variables (e.g., Cunningham & Stanovich, 1993). The current study used 50 L2 learners and 31 L1 learners to compare their performance on various measures of reading. The L2 students were recruited in two waves, one in 2005 and the next in 2006, hereafter referred to as cohorts. Differences were found within the L2 group, where the first cohort of L2 students performed significantly lower than the L1 group on many measures such as receptive vocabulary, word and pseudoword reading, however, the second cohort of students showed scores more similar to the L1 group on many measures. In predicting variance in reading comprehension scores, the title recognition and nonverbal reasoning were partialled out. However, in the L1 group the title recognition test did not predict unique variance in reading comprehension. Another model was to run predict word reading, and once again the title recognition test was a unique predcitor only in the L2 group. Further analyses broke up the L2 group into students with average and poor reading comprehension skills in order to examine the profiles of students who may be at-risk for reading disabilities and found that rapid automatized naming was a significant predictor of reading comprehension in those students with poor reading comprehension skills. Implications will be discussed.

Convocation Year