Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 May 2020
Previous research has demonstrated that individual differences in conflict management predict second-language (L2) reading skill. The current experiment tested the hypothesis that this relation reflects the need to manage conflict from cross-linguistic interactions (CLI). A novel model specifying the relation between L2 reading skill, CLI, and the predictors of such interactions was tested in 253 L2 English speaking adults, using structural equation modeling. In support of the hypothesis, the findings revealed that stronger CLI was related to poorer L2 reading skill. In addition, variability in non-linguistic conflict management, as measured by executive attention tasks, and relative language dominance reliably predicted CLI. Specifically, better conflict management and lower L1 dominance corresponded to fewer interactions. These results fill a crucial gap by demonstrating for the first time that the ability to manage CLI is critical to L2 reading, and that both cognitive skills and language experience contribute to variability in these interactions.