A meta-analysis on the effects of L1 glosses on L2 reading comprehension

Alan Mark Taylor, Purdue University


In the field of second language (L2) learning, native language (L1) glossing in L2 reading comprehension is an issue of debate. Studies conducted on the effects of L1 glossing in L2 reading comprehension have obtained conflicting findings. This meta analysis includes experimental results from 13 studies. Research methodology and language variables involved in L2 reading comprehension are addressed and analyzed to offer further insight into determining the effectiveness of L1 glossing in L2 reading comprehension. The nearly medium effect size (g = .49) obtained indicates that L1 glossing can be an effective L2 reading comprehension aid in the short term. Among other findings, it was also concluded that (a) L1 glosses should be used with first and second year instructional L2 textbooks, (b) computer-assisted L2 reading with L1 glosses should be considered useful, and (c) the effects of L1 glosses on L2 reading comprehension are best measured via the L1 recall protocol. Results from other moderating variables are also discussed. Specific L2 classroom contexts in which L1 glosses can be used are then outlined. Limitations of the present meta-analysis include: (a) there were no long-term studies in the literature; (b) specific relationships among codes were difficult to precisely discern; and (c) there was a lack of inclusion of studies with oriental participants. ^




Major Professor: Caroline Grace, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature|Language, Linguistics

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