International Journal of Applied Linguistics

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Volume 21 Issue 3 (November 2011), Pages 279-426

Character recognition among English‐speaking L2 readers of Japanese (pages 383-406)

The present study investigated the development of semantic processing skills in character recognition among English‐speaking L2 readers of Japanese with different levels of knowledge of kanji (the morphographic script used in the Japanese writing system) by using a timed semantic processing task (a task involving the comparison of kanji). By analysing the results of the task (correct response rates and reaction times), the study described the changes in semantic processing skills at the different stages of knowledge of kanji. The overall findings of the study suggest that 1) L2 readers with different levels of target script knowledge approach the recognition of characters differently, and that 2) L2 semantic processing skills approximate those of L1 readers with increased L2 script knowledge.

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