Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Ping Li


The goal of language comprehension is to retrieve and retain the meaning of speech or text. Research with monolinguals has shown that participants' ability to detect structural changes in sentences decreases with time, while their ability to detect meaning changes remains accurate (Sachs, I967). In this study I examined whether this monolingual pattern holds for bilingual speakers in a second language. English-Spanish bilinguals at three different proficiency levels participated in a reading task in which native (LI) and non-native (L2) language sentences were presented. Participants read both LI and L2 sentences and were then tested for their recognition of the sentences. The test sentences were either identical to the original sentences, or were altered in meaning or in form from the originals. Results confirm a significant main effect of change type, two-way interaction effects (proficiency x change type and language x change type), and a three-way interaction between language, change type, and proficiency. The results are discussed using a new model for understanding second language reading comprehension.

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Psychology Commons