The book investigates the explanatory variables for the passage-reading comprehension performance of Japanese EFL learners and their sentence-reading speed. Following rigorous preliminary studies evaluating the significance of the candidate variables and refining research instruments, a large scale main study was conducted. Regression analyses indicated that syntactic knowledge was the best predictor of passage-reading ability, while vocabulary breadth also contributed to its prediction. Subgroup analyses supported the significance of syntactic knowledge for both higher- and lower-ability readers. Sentence-reading speed was best predicted by the speed of lexical semantic access. The significance of this speed was also consistent across the group division. A subsequent exploratory factor analysis and structural equation modelling of the data indicated that the performances of the participants were best explained in terms of two latent factors: one based on careful text processing power and the other on efficiency of lexical semantic access.
Includes up-to-date review of relevant literature on reading ability and its development and assessment.
Explicates significant factors that predict L2 reading test performances.
First attempt in the literature to empirically capture different kinds of underlying skills for reading in a second language.
Combines theoretical insights and empirical investigation.
Investigates the L2 reading construct from multiple methodological perspectives.
Offers a progressive method of balancing rigour and feasibility in the preparation of research instruments.