Reading in Two Languages: How Attitudes Toward Home Language and Beliefs About Reading Affect the Behaviors of “Underprepared” L2 College Readers*

  • Kamhi-Stein L
  • 47


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 15


    Citations of this article.


This study explores the relationship between L1 and L2 reading strategy use and affective factors, including readers' views of their home language and their beliefs about reading. The study participants were four L2 college readers of Spanish and English, all from an immigrant background and all considered academically underprepared for college. Data were collected through think-aloud protocols, open-ended interviews, self-assessment inventories, and reading comprehension measures in Spanish and English. Qualitative data analyses showed that readers' attitudes toward their home language influenced reading behavior. Specifically, in contrast to the two readers who viewed their L1 as a problem, the readers who viewed their L1 as a resource chose to purposefully translate mentally into their home language when reading in the L2, regardless of their level of L2 reading proficiency or length of English study. Qualitative data analysis also showed that, at least to some extent, the readers' beliefs about reading influenced reading behavior, which was multistrategic and flexible for the two readers who viewed reading as a process of meaning construction and logocentric for the two who viewed reading as a word-centered process. These findings call for further research examining the connections between learners' beliefs about reading and their reading processes.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Lía D. Kamhi-Stein

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free