Perfiles de estudiantes universitarios con dificultades lectoras en el aprendizaje del español como lengua extranjera

  1. Foncubierta Muriel, José Manuel
Supervised by:
  1. María del Carmen Fonseca Mora Director
  2. Kris Buyse Director

Defence university: Universidad de Huelva

Fecha de defensa: 24 September 2020


Type: Thesis


Reading fluency is the benchmark of reading proficiency in monolingual educational settings, however when we explore what happens to adult students learning a second language, this relationship between reading fluency and reading comprehension seems to be not so strong. Readers who decode well but are weak in reading comprehension are often referred to as word callers. Weak comprehension skills has been attributed to several factors: poor working memory, lack of background knowledge, weak L2 linguistic competence. In any case, when we carry out an analysis of adult reader's reading competence we usually find a similar result, as if it were a kind of a reading disability called hyperlexia. This is the most prevalent L2 reader's profile, which consists of fluent decoding without construction of meaning, or weak listening comprehension skills. As the most of the reading life passes in silence and, in this vein, silent reading fluency is considered the primary reading mode of proficient readers, this doctoral dissertation is aimed to increase knowledge about the acoustic dimension of silent reading fluency, from the analysis of some linguistic and extralinguistic variables in order to detect university students’ profiles with reading difficulties in Spanish language learning. Fluent reading in a foreign language is a complex cognitive process which involves the automatic coordination of naturally visual and auditory skills, where a great number of variables are interacting. In spite of the fact that silent reading fluency is the adulthood competent reading way, many previous studies have been conducted on the oral reading fluency of adults who learn a second language while the research on silent reading fluency and its underlying components remains to be scarce or inconclusive. This doctoral dissertation presents the conclusions of previous literature review and the results of three experimental studies published in different scientific journals. A total of 164 participants participated in these studies: 47 were Spanish students learning English and 117 were Italian students learning Spanish as a foreign language. In addition to reading skills as phonological awareness and the ability of recognizing words in context during silent reading, in theses studies cognitive and musical skills were included in order to explore if certain auditory abilities of adult readers, as their musical aptitude and their auditory working memory, could be specially relevant to understand the L2 silent reading fluency development. The results of the experimental studies show strong correlations between reading skills and cognitive and musical variables. This fact helps to understand that individual differences in silent reading fluency development in adult students of Spanish language could be explained for differences in auditory skills , and therefore the acoustic profile of L2 readers, regarding musical aptitude that they obtain from their previous auditory experience.