Publication Date

2012

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Psychology

Keywords

Bilingualism in children, Hispanic American chldren-Education (Preschool), Hispanic American children-Elementary (Elementary), English language-Acquisition, Education, Bilingual, Early childhood education, English language-Study and teaching (Preschool), Second language acquisition, Narrative, Literacy, Dual language learners, Preschool, First grade, English/Spanish bilingualism

Abstract

Dual language learners (DLLs) are a growing population in United States public schools, however they are underachieving academically (Barnett et. al., 2007; Hammer, 2009). Language development in DLLs differs from that of monolinguals. DLLs will often be behind in each one of their languages compared to monolinguals learning that language. Most research has focused on the vocabulary and literacy of elementary school aged DLLs. Only a few studies have looked at preschool aged DLLs and their development of code-related emergent literacy skills. The present study examined literate language features in narrative as a predictor of later literacy in DLLs. It followed a sample of 130 Hispanic preschoolers from the beginning of preschool through the end of first grade. It found developmental language growth from the beginning to the end of the preschool year as well as a dissipating effect of bilingualism on the children's English language. Literate language use in the children's narrative production in preschool predicted Passage Comprehension at the end of first grade, whereas their phonological awareness predicted Letter-Word Identification. The relationship between literate language and later reading comprehension is important to follow-up on, since literate language is linked to later academic success. These findings have implications for intervention programs for DLLs, however more research is needed on this issue.

Language

English

Comments

59 p. Honors project-Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 56-59)

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