Article

The English Speaking Strategies of Spanish‐Speaking Bilingual Children

TESOL Quarterly 01/2012; 22(2):333 - 340. DOI: 10.2307/3586941
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    ABSTRACT: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/gksK6WiXa6jW4UZfz9DM/full
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the Spanish and English spelling patterns of bilingual adolescents, including the cross-linguistic effects of each language, by applying a fine-grained measure to the differences in spelling in naturalistic writing. Spelling errors were taken from narrative and expository writing samples provided by 20 Spanish?English bilingual adolescents (n = 160). Errors were coded by categories (phonological, orthographic, and morphological) and specific linguistic features affected and then analyzed by language and genre. Descriptive analyses noted similarities and differences among error patterns in both languages as well as language transfer (i.e., borrowings and code-switching). Statistical analyses revealed language differences in proportions of misspellings across linguistic categories. More fine-grained analyses indicated linguistic feature patterns that were shared across languages and unique to each language. Finally, borrowing, while infrequent, was noted more frequently in English compositions. This investigation appears to demonstrate that spelling, when approached as both a cognitive and linguistic activity, is complex since multiple knowledge systems must be coordinated. The use of triple word form theory to analyze misspellings in emerging bilingual writers suggests that discerning patterns of misspellings in each language provides more insight than does transfer alone into the extent that phonology, orthography, and morphology are becoming unified.; This study examined the Spanish and English spelling patterns of bilingual adolescents, including the cross-linguistic effects of each language, by applying a fine-grained measure to the differences in spelling in naturalistic writing. Spelling errors were taken from narrative and expository writing samples provided by 20 Spanish-English bilingual adolescents (n = 160). Errors were coded by categories (phonological, orthographic, and morphological) and specific linguistic features affected and then analyzed by language and genre. Descriptive analyses noted similarities and differences among error patterns in both languages as well as language transfer (i.e., borrowings and code-switching). Statistical analyses revealed language differences in proportions of misspellings across linguistic categories. More fine-grained analyses indicated linguistic feature patterns that were shared across languages and unique to each language. Finally, borrowing, while infrequent, was noted more frequently in English compositions. This investigation appears to demonstrate that spelling, when approached as both a cognitive and linguistic activity, is complex since multiple knowledge systems must be coordinated. The use of triple word form theory to analyze misspellings in emerging bilingual writers suggests that discerning patterns of misspellings in each language provides more insight than does transfer alone into the extent that phonology, orthography, and morphology are becoming unified
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    ABSTRACT: This article describes the development of an English spelling measure designed to assess the progress made by Spanish-English bilingual children from Grade 2 to Grade 5. Different stages of developing the measure are described, such as selecting the focus features, the prepilot and pilot phases, and the operational version. Two underlying attributes characterize the spelling measure described in this article. First, it is developmental, meaning that it contains a wide variety of features and items that differ according to spelling difficulty, such that the assessment is able to measure the growth of English spelling ability over the full sequence of the upper elementary grades. Second, it is contrastive; that is, it was designed to detect some areas of potential cross-linguistic influence from Spanish to English. The combination of these two characteristics makes this spelling measure a unique tool for assessing the development of spelling ability by Spanish-English bilingual children.
    06/2006; 40(2). DOI:10.2307/40264528