In this paper, we argue that second language (L2) reading research, which has been informed by studies involving first language (L1) alphabetic English reading, may be less relevant to L2 readers with non-alphabetic reading backgrounds, such as Chinese readers with an L1 logographic (Chinese character) learning history. We provide both neuroanatomical and behavioural evidence from Chinese language reading studies to support our claims. The paper concludes with an argument outlining the need for a universal L2 reading model which can adequately account for readers with diverse L1 orthographic language learning histories.
- first language reading
- second language reading
- alphabetic-language reading models
- language distance effects in reading