Differentiating Between Automatic and Strategic Control Processes: Toward a Model of Cognitive Mobilization in Bilingual Reading
H. Cheung & A. M. Y. Lin
Recent years have witnessed an increased interest in studying the effect of first language (L1) reading experience on second language (L2) literacy. Such cross-language influence in reading is understood as a particular case of the more general phenomenon of cognitive mobilization, which refers to the application of L1-related mechanisms to L2 processing (Elks, 1994). In this paper, we propose a model of cognitive mobilization for the bilingual reader. The model postulates an L1 and an L2 word recognition system the automaticity of which depends on language proficiency, and a language-neutral central system which entails effortful, strategic control processes. Under the assumptions of limited attentional resources and increasing L2 word recognition automaticity due to enhanced L2 proficiency, the model makes different predictions about cognitive mobilization in reading for bilingual readers at various levels of L2 proficiency. L 1-to-L2 mobilization and top-down application of general reading strategies to L2 word decoding are similarly modelled. The paper contributes to the area by providing a framework for the formulation of working hypotheses about cognitive mobilization in reading.

Key words: mobilization, reading, bilingual, automatic