The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

Second Advisor

James Robinson

Third Advisor

Sharon Codgill

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

oral language, working memory, second language learners, reading comprehension


Comprehending what one reads is the essence of all reading instruction. Much research has been conducted to determine how English reading comprehension is achieved. The simple view of reading (Gough & Tunmer 1986) states that reading is the product of decoding times comprehension. Whether or not second language learners learn to read in English the same way that native English speakers do has not been as highly researched. The purpose of this study is to look at the English oral language skills of syntactic awareness, vocabulary and verbal working memory to see what correlations exist between these abilities and English reading comprehension with native Spanish speakers. Testing was done with third through eight grade participants with equal groups of native English and native Spanish speakers. It was found that the variable of vocabulary was significant to reading comprehension with native English speakers, while working memory was significant to reading comprehension with native Spanish speakers. The difference between native English and native Spanish speaking participants could have implications in the school setting as to how teachers address reading comprehension with second language learners.