Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

First Advisor

Allison Sedey

Second Advisor

Kathryn Arehart



Bilingualism is a growing global norm and a requirement for many aspects of business and politics, motivating the need for research focused on second language (L2) learning. Research on L2 orthographic acquisition indicates that several factors play a role in learning to read in a new language, including similarities and differences between the orthographies of the L1 (first language) and L2, orthographic depth and consistency, and the method of reading instruction. This study compares three forms of instruction provided to English-speaking adults learning to read Hangul Korean. Instruction provided an initial focus on either small grain units (letters), medium grain units (syllables), or large grain units (words). Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups with each group receiving only one form of instruction. Instruction was provided over two days and learning outcomes were measured using forced choice matching tests on both days. On day 1, accuracy and reaction time for trained words were tested. On day 2, accuracy and reaction time were tested for trained words, novel words/rimes, syllables, and letters. Regardless of the form of instruction method provided, all instruction groups showed gains in accuracy for matching trained words from day 1 to day 2. Results revealed that different methods of instruction resulted in different outcomes on accuracy for the letter test (grapheme-phoneme matching) and the rime test (novel word matching). Specifically, the small grain instruction group showed higher accuracy on the letter test compared to the medium and large grain instruction groups. The medium and large grain instruction groups both showed higher accuracy on rime-rhyme matching portion of the novel word test compared to the small grain instruction group.