Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Pupils of foreign origin need proficiency in both oral and literate skills to succeed in the Dutch secondary school system. In this article the development of literate skills in L-1 and L-2 is examined.The way in which a second language is learned is influenced by the level and type of mother tongue competence. In the case of older learners a higher proficiency in L-1 can facilitate the L-2-acquisition process. Especially language skills based upon cognitive development are expected to be transferred from L-1 to L-2 (Cummins, 1979,1980), which is the reason why reading was chosen as the object of this study.The study compares two groups of Turkish secondary school pupils, one group consisting of pupils who learned Dutch at a relatively early age, the other of pupils who had just arrived in the Nether-lands. The latter are expected to have a higher competence in Turkish than the former when starting to learn Dutch. For both groups a positive relation has been found between Turkish and Dutch for technical reading and reading comprehension.The findings suggest not only a positive transfer from L-1 to L-2 but also from L-2 to L-1 in the case of the group of pupils who had hardly been taught in L-1 and arrived in The Netherlands at an earlier age. Positive transfer seems to occur especially in reading comprehension provided that there is a certain level of competence in both languages.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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