A Review of Factors Affecting the Acquisition of Second Language Reading Skills

Keywords: components of reading, cognitive reading factors, metacognitive reading factors, reading, reading comprehension, social reading factors


Abstract Views: 56

Effective reading skills are essential prerequisites for L2 reading proficiency which demand different metacognitive and cognitive skills to deal with the problems before and during the reading. These reading strategies adopted by L2 proficient readers are effective methods to handle the primary factors that influence reading proficiency. Therefore, the current research  provided a comprehensive review of factors affecting the acquisition of second-language reading skills. The review consisted of thirty-two research articles related to L2 reading acquisition. The results demonstrated primary factors which impacted the L2 reading skills and a wide range of reading techniques adopted by proficient English language learners to construct meanings from the written text. Finally, it is likely to expect that the review of factors affecting reading skills can provide English language teachers and English language learners with in-depth insights into social and cognitive factors affecting L2 reading literacy.


Download data is not yet available.


Alenka, M., & Božica, V. (2019). The relationship between L1 and L2 reading comprehension and language and reading proficiency at the Tertiary level. Journal of Language and Education, 5(4), 54–65. http://doi.org/10.7323/jle.2019.9773 DOI: https://doi.org/10.17323/jle.2019.9773

Alexander, J. E., & Filler, R. C. (1976). Attitudes and reading. International Reading Association.

Alkhateeb, H. M., Abushihab, E. F., Alkhateeb, R. H., & Alkhateeb, B. H. (2021). Reading strategies used by undergraduate university general education courses for students in US and Qatar. Reading Psychology, 42(6), 663–679. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2021.1912967 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2021.1912967

Amini, D., Anhari, M. H., & Ghasemzadeh, A. (2020). Modeling the relationship between metacognitive strategy awareness, self-regulation and reading proficiency of Iranian EFL learners. Cogent Education, 7(1), Article e1787018. https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2020.1787018 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2020.1787018

Anderson, N. (2003). Reading. In D. Nunan (Ed.), Practical English language teaching. The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Babapour, M., Ahangari, S., & Ahour, T. (2019). The effect of shadow reading and collaborative strategic reading on EFL learners’ reading comprehension across two proficiency levels. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 13(4), 318–330. https://doi.org/10.1080/17501229.2018.1465059 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17501229.2018.1465059

Brunfaut, T., Kormos, J., Michel, M., & Ratajczak, M. (2021). Testing young foreign language learners’ reading comprehension: Exploring the effects of working memory, grade level, and reading task. Language Testing, 38(3), 356–377. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532221991480 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532221991480

Cai, Y., & Kunnan, A. J. (2020). Mapping the fluctuating effect of strategy use ability on English reading performance for nursing students: A multi-layered moderation analysis approach. Language Testing, 37(2), 280–304. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532219893384 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532219893384

Chamot, A. U., & Kupper, L. (1989). Learning strategies in foreign language instruction. Foreign Language Annals, 22(1), 13–22. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.1989.tb03138.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.1989.tb03138.x

Chen, P. H. (2020). The interplay between English proficiency and reading strategy use in English reading: Validating the linguistic threshold hypothesis and the Interactive-Compensatory Model. Taiwan Journal of TESOL, 17(2), 1–37. https://doi.org/10.30397/TJTESOL.202010_17(2).0001

Choi, I., & Papageorgiou, S. (2020). Evaluating subscore uses across multiple levels: A case of reading and listening subscores for young EFL learners. Language Testing, 37(2), 254–279. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532219879654 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532219879654

Commander, M., & de Guerrero, M. (2013). Reading as a social interactive process: The impact of shadow-reading in L2 classrooms. Reading in a Foreign Language, 25(2), 170–191.

De Wilde, V., Brysbaert, M., & Eyckmans, J. (2020). Learning English through out‐of‐school exposure: How do word‐related variables and proficiency influence receptive vocabulary learning? Language Learning, 70(2), 349–381. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12380 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12380

Fathi, J., & Afzali, M. (2020). The effect of second language reading strategy instruction on young Iranian EFL learners' reading comprehension. International Journal of Instruction, 13(1), 475–488. https://doi.org/10.29333/iji.2020.13131a DOI: https://doi.org/10.29333/iji.2020.13131a

Feller, D. P., Kopatich, R. D., Lech, I., & Higgs, K. (2020). Exploring reading strategy use in native and L2 readers. Discourse Processes, 57(7), 590–608. https://doi.org/10.1080/0163853X.2020.1735282 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0163853X.2020.1735282

Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. Addison-Wesley.

Flavell, J. H. (1977). Cognitive development. Prentice-Hall.

Gani, S. A., Yusuf, Y. Q., & Susiani, R. (2016). Progressive outcomes of collaborative strategic reading to EFL learners. Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences, 37(3), 144–149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.kjss.2016.08.004 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.kjss.2016.08.004

Griffin, R. A., Farran, L. K., & Mindrila, D. (2020). Reading motivation in bi/multilingual Latinx adolescents: An exploratory structural equation model. Reading Psychology, 41(8), 856–892. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2020.1801540 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2020.1801540

Housen, A., De Clercq, B., Kuiken, F., & Vedder, I. (2019). Multiple approaches to complexity in second language research. Second Language Research, 35(1), 3–21. https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658318809765 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658318809765

Jang, E. E. (2009). Demystifying a Q-matrix for making diagnostic inferences about L2 reading skills. Language Assessment Quarterly, 6(3), 210–238. https://doi.org/10.1080/15434300903071817 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15434300903071817

Jeong, Y. J., & Gweon, G. (2021). Advantages of print reading over screen reading: A comparison of visual patterns, reading performance, and reading attitudes across paper, computers, and tablets. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 37(17), 1674–1684. https://doi.org/10.1080/10447318.2021.1908668 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10447318.2021.1908668

Krepel, A., de Bree, E. H., Mulder, E., van de Ven, M., Segers, E., Verhoeven, L., & de Jong, P. F. (2021). The unique contribution of vocabulary in the reading development of English as a foreign language. Journal of Research in Reading, 44(3), 453–474. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9817.12350 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9817.12350

Lantolf, J. P., & Poehner, M. E. (2004). Dynamic assessment of L2 development: Bringing the past into the future. Journal of Applied Linguistics, 1(1), 49–72. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1558/japl.

Li, H., Gan, Z., Leung, S. O., & An, Z. (2022). The impact of reading strategy instruction on reading comprehension, strategy use, motivation, and self-efficacy in Chinese University EFL Students. SAGE Open, 12(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1177/21582440221086659 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/21582440221086659

Liebfreund, M. D. (2021). Cognitive and motivational predictors of narrative and informational text comprehension. Reading Psychology, 42(2), 177–196. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2021.1888346 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2021.1888346

Lindholm, A., & Tengberg, M. (2019). The reading development of Swedish L2 middle school students and its relation to reading strategy use. Reading Psychology, 40(8), 782–813. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2019.1674432 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2019.1674432

Loh, C. E., Sun, B., & Majid, S. (2020). Do girls read differently from boys? Adolescents and their gendered reading habits and preferences. English in Education, 54(2), 174–190. https://doi.org/10.1080/04250494.2019.1610328 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/04250494.2019.1610328

Löwenadler, J. (2019). Patterns of variation in the interplay of language ability and general reading comprehension ability in L2 reading. Language Testing, 36(3), 369–390. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532219826379 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532219826379

McKenna, M. C., & Kear, D. J. (1990). Measuring attitude toward reading: A new tool for teachers. The Reading Teacher, 43(9), 626–639. https://www.jstor.org/stable/20200500 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1598/RT.43.8.3

McLean, S., Stewart, J., & Batty, A. O. (2020). Predicting L2 reading proficiency with modalities of vocabulary knowledge: A bootstrapping approach. Language Testing, 37(3), 389–411. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532219898380 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532219898380

Mokhtari, K., & Reichard, C. (2004). Investigating the strategic reading processes of first and second language readers in two different cultural contexts. System, 32(3), 379–394. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2004.04.005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2004.04.005

Nisbet, K., Bertram, R., Erlinghagen, C., Pieczykolan, A., & Kuperman, V. (2021). Quantifying the difference in reading fluency between L1 and L2 readers of English. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 44(2), 407–434. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263121000279 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263121000279

Nourinezhad, S., & Kashefian-Naeeini, S. (2020). Iranian EFL university learners and lecturers’ attitude towards translation as a tool in reading comprehension considering background variables of age, major and years of experience. Cogent Education, 7(1), Article e1746104. https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2020.1746104 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2020.1746104

Nunn, J., & Chang, S. (2020). What are systematic reviews? Wiki Journal of Medicine, 7(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.15347/WJM/2020.005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.15347/WJM/2020.005

Oxford, R. L. (1990). Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. Heinle & Heinle.

Par, L. (2020). The relationship between reading strategies and reading achievement of the EFL Students. International Journal of Instruction, 13(2), 223–238. https://doi.org/10.29333/iji.2020.13216a DOI: https://doi.org/10.29333/iji.2020.13216a

Pintrich, P. R. (1999). The role of motivation in promoting and sustaining self-regulated learning. International Journal of Educational Research, 31(6), 459–470. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0883-0355(99)00015-4 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0883-0355(99)00015-4

Rianto, A. (2021). Examining gender differences in reading strategies, reading skills, and English proficiency of EFL University students. Cogent Education, 8(1), Article e1993531. https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2021.1993531 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2021.1993531

Sok, S., Shin, H. W., & Do, J. (2021). Exploring which test-taker characteristics predict young L2 learners’ performance on listening and reading comprehension tests. Language Testing, 38(3), 378–400. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532221991134 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532221991134

Stanley, C. T., Petscher, Y., & Catts, H. (2018). A longitudinal investigation of direct and indirect links between reading skills in kindergarten and reading comprehension in tenth grade. Reading and Writing, 31(1), 133–153. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-017-9777-6 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-017-9777-6

To, V. T., & Mahboob, A. (2018). Complexity of English textbook language: A systemic functional analysis. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 13(3), 264–293. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-017-9777-6 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1558/lhs.31905

Toprak, T. E., & Cakir, A. (2021). Examining the L2 reading comprehension ability of adult ELLs: Developing a diagnostic test within the cognitive diagnostic assessment framework. Language Testing, 38(1), 106–131. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532220941470 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532220941470

Vulchanova, M., Foyn, C. H., Nilsen, R. A., & Sigmundsson, H. (2014). Links between phonological memory, first language competence and second language competence in 10-year‐old children. Learning and Individual Differences, 35, 87–95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2014.07.016 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2014.07.016

Vygotsky, L. S. (1987). Thinking and speech. In R.W. Rieber, & A.S. Carton (Eds.), The collected works of L.S. Vygotsky: Problems of general psychology (pp. 39–285). Plenum

Yamashita, J. (2007). The relationship of reading attitudes between L1 and L2: An investigation of adult EFL learners in Japan. TESOL Quarterly, 41(1), 81–105. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1545-7249.2007.tb00041.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1545-7249.2007.tb00041.x

Yeom, S., & Jun, H. (2020). Young Korean EFL learners’ reading and test-taking strategies in a paper and a computer-based reading comprehension tests. Language Assessment Quarterly, 17(3), 282–299. https://doi.org/10.1080/15434303.2020.1731753 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15434303.2020.1731753

Zasacka, Z., & Bulkowski, K. (2017). Reading engagement and school achievement of lower secondary school students. Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych, 141(2), 78–99. https://www.ceeol.com/search/article-detail?id=535175 DOI: https://doi.org/10.24131/3724.170205

Zhang, L. J. (2008). Constructivist pedagogy in strategic reading instruction: Exploring pathways to learner development in the English as a second language (ESL) classroom. Instructional Science, 36(2), 89–116. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11251-007-9025-6 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11251-007-9025-6

Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Attaining self-regulation: A social cognitive perspective. In Handbook of Self-Regulation. Academic press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-012109890-2/50031-7

How to Cite
Haider, S., & Shakir, A. (2023). A Review of Factors Affecting the Acquisition of Second Language Reading Skills. Linguistics and Literature Review, 9(1), 88-111. https://doi.org/10.32350/llr.91/05