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A descriptive study of the timed oral reading of 232 literate adult English language learners (ELLs) in a post-secondary academic program found a relationship between the proximity of their L1 orthography to English and their performance in a timed oral reading. The scores on the students’ final exams and final listening exams, on the other hand, did not correlate with their first language orthography. The author concludes that for literate ELLs, L1 orthography exerts an influence on oral reading in English, and therefore should be factored in when designing assessments that employ such a method.

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