Current Developments in Second Language Reading Research

William P Grabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

340 Scopus citations


Both reading research and practice have undergone numerous changes in the 25 years since TESOL was first established. The last decade, in particular, has been a time of much first and second language research, resulting in many new insights for reading instruction. The purpose of this article is to bring together that research and its implications for the classroom. Current reading research follows from certain assumptions on the nature of the reading process; these assumptions are reviewed and general perspectives on the reading process are presented. Specific attention is then given to interactive approaches to reading, examining research which argues that reading comprehension is a combination of identification and interpretation skills. Reading research in second language contexts, however, must also take into account the many differences between L1 and L2 reading. From the differences reviewed here, it is evident that much more second language reading research is needed. Five important areas of current research which should remain prominent for this decade are reported: schema theory, language skills and automaticity, vocabulary development, comprehension strategy training, and reading‐writing relations. Implications from this research for curriculum development are briefly noted. 1991 TESOL International Association

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-406
Number of pages32
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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