Introduction Interest in second language reading research and practice has increased dramatically in the past 15 years. Part of this interest is due to the increasing recognition that reading abilities are critical for academic learning, and that L2 reading represents the primary way that L2 students can learn on their own beyond the classroom. Part of the interest is due to the increasing recognition that we all live in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural world, one that is becoming more interconnected through global media and the new global economy. Part of this interest evolves out of increasing numbers of immigrant and language minority students in mainstream L1 educational systems around the world and efforts to address their needs appropriately. Without a doubt, L2 reading research and instruction will grow in importance in the coming decade. Reading, as is true of all aspects of language knowledge and use, is complex
and the development of fluent reading abilities by L2 students is a challenging undertaking. In this chapter we outline some of the complexities involved with L2 reading, key issues concerning L2 reading processes and learning, and some of the implications of these issues for instructional practice.