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Judith Kroll, Pilar Pinar, Paola Dussias and Chip Gerfen plan a set of studies on word decoding and sentence comprehension

Skilled literacy requires fluency in word decoding and in sentence comprehension. For non-native English users, that fluency can be difficult to achieve. The goal of the planned research is to inform approaches to L2 reading that have been examined with bilinguals who use two spoken languages by examining bilingual readers whose first or dominant language is American Sign Language. In one set of studies, we investigate how syntactic complexity and cognitive resources affect sentence comprehension in reading English as the L2. In a second set of studies, we consider whether exposure to Spanish as a written foreign language (L3) enhances deaf readers’ sensitivity to the mappings between orthography and phonology in English.

This research is funded by a supplemental award to Dr. Kroll's lab as a collaborative project between Penn State and Gallaudet University.