Reading and Writing

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 527–558 | Cite as

Predicting Foreign Language Reading Achievement in Elementary School Students

  • Janina Kahn-Horwitz
  • Joseph Shimron
  • Richard L. Sparks


This study examined whether factors affecting first language reading acquisition also affect English Foreign Language (EFL) reading acquisition. Hebrew (L1) and EFL reading related measures were administrated to 145 fourth graders from the north of Israel who were beginning their first year of English instruction. Results from a Linear Structural Equational Analysis (LISREL) showed that the Hebrew independent variable consisting of morphological and phonological awareness, orthographic ability, and word reading (accuracy and speed) predicted EFL knowledge of letter sounds and names, word attack and reading comprehension. In addition to the Hebrew independent variable, English word recognition (accuracy and speed) predicted English reading comprehension. These results support the Linguistic Coding Differences Hypothesis (LCDH), which argues for core linguistic abilities that influence first and subsequent language reading acquisition.


Acquisition Foreign language Reading 



English as a Foreign Language


first language


Linguistic Coding Differences Hypothesis


second language


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janina Kahn-Horwitz
    • 1
  • Joseph Shimron
    • 2
  • Richard L. Sparks
    • 3
  1. 1.University of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.University of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.College of Mt. St. JosephCincinnatiUSA

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