Carnegie Mellon University

Keiko Koda

Keiko Koda

Professor of Japanese and Second Language Acquisition

Department of Modern Languages
Carnegie Mellon University
Baker Hall 160
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


My primary research interest focuses on the development of second-language reading competence.  I pursue systematic investigations of phenomena influencing second language lexical processing and text comprehension.  Second language reading differs from first language reading in that involves two languages. My recent research includes empirical examinations of cross-linguistic interaction during processing.  To date, findings illuminate (a) the significance of first language literacy experience in the formation of second language metalinguistic awareness, (b) the specific contribution of such awareness to second language lexical development, and (c) amalgamation of literacy experiences in two languages in shaping second language lexical processing competencies.

My secondary interest lies in clarifying cross-linguistic variations in reading acquisition and their relation to second language reading development. Because languages differ in the ways they graphically encode phonological and morphological information, metalinguistic awareness varies systematically across languages.  Methodical examinations of such differences should substantially enlarge our understanding of the precise influence of structural properties on the formation of lexical processing skills, and, at the same time, permit conceptual explorations of the cognitive and linguistic requisites of literacy in a given language.

Currently, I am also involved in pedagogical studies that examine the effectiveness of instructional interventions that are designed to exploit previously acquired reading and learning skills, as cross-linguistically sharable resources, in adult foreign language learners.


Ph. D.,  University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Selected Publications

  • Koda, K.  (2005).  Insights into second language reading: A cross-linguistic approach.  NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Koda, K. (Ed.). (2007). Reading and language learning. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Koda, K., & Zehler, A. M., (Eds.).  (2008).  Learning to read across languages.  New York: Routledge. 
  • Koda, K. (2012). Doing research on second language reading. In S. M. Gass & A. McKay (Eds.). Research Methodologies in Second Language Acquisition. Blackwell.
  • Koda, K. (2012). Second language reading, scripts and orthographies. C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Wiley Blackwell.
  • Koda, K., Lu, Chan, & Zhang, D. (2013). L1-Induced Facilitation in Biliteracy Development in Chinese and English. In X. Chen, Q. Wang, & Y. C. Luo (Eds.), Reading development and difficulties in monolingual and bilingual Chinese children. Springer.
  • Zhang, D., & Koda, K. (2013). Morphological awareness and reading comprehension in a foreign language: A study of young Chinese EFL learners. System, 41, 901-931.
  • Nakamura, P., Koda, K. Joshi, M. (2014).  Biliteracy Acquisition in Kannada and English: A developmental Study. Writing System Research, 6, 132-147.
  • Koda, K. (in press). Reading Acquisition in Japanese. In L. Verhoeven, & C. Perfetti (Eds.), Reading acquisition across languages and writing systems: An international handbook. Cambridge University Press.
  • Lu, C., Koda, K., Zhang, D., & Zhang, Y. (in press). Effects of Semantic Radical Properties on Character Meaning Extraction and Inference. Writing System Research.

Department Member Since