Reading in English and Spanish: A comparative miscue analysis

Erin A Mikulec, Purdue University


The purpose of the present study was to investigate what miscue analysis can reveal about first and second language reading processes. There are many factors to consider in second language reading. For example, many researchers theorize that someone must be a proficient reader in his or her first language in order to be a proficient reader in the second language. Others postulate that even if someone is a proficient reader in his or her first language, a low level of second language proficiency may interfere with the transfer of first language reading skills. Therefore, in this study, miscue analysis, a method described as a “window” to the reading processed, was used. Two subjects, native English speakers proficient in Spanish, were asked to read two folktales: one in English and one in Spanish. A full miscue analysis was performed on each reading, and the results compared between first and second languages. The results indicated that readers experience varying levels of different miscues from one language to the other. Both readers were also able to recall the English language story with greater detail and accuracy than the Spanish language story. These results are discussed in terms of implications for both readers and teachers.




Garfinkel, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction|Language arts

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