Article

Early Home Language Use and Later Vocabulary Development

Journal of Educational Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.08). 07/2011; 103(3):535-546. DOI: 10.1037/a0023655

ABSTRACT This longitudinal study examined the association between early patterns of home language use (age 4.5 years) and vocabulary growth (ages 4.5 to 12 years) in English and Spanish for 180 Spanish-speaking language minority learners followed from ages 4.5 to 12 years. Standardized measures of vocabulary were administered to children from ages 4.5 to 12 years, and home language use was assessed via parent survey at study entry. Three predominant home language use patterns were identified: mostly Spanish, equal amounts of Spanish and English, and mostly English. Individual growth modeling results demonstrated initial English vocabulary differences between the three language groups, with the mostly English group outperforming the other two language groups. However, the rate of growth for the equal amounts and mostly Spanish groups surpassed that of the mostly English group; by age 12 years, the gaps among the 3 groups had narrowed, but participants' vocabulary skills remained below national norms. In contrast, students' patterns of Spanish vocabulary growth did not vary, resulting in parallel but widening gaps through age 12 years. Results suggest that early Spanish use in language minority learners' homes, in and of itself, does not interfere with the development of English vocabulary. However, despite their English instructional context, all learners' vocabulary knowledge was below average and the gap compared with national norms persisted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

1 Bookmark
 · 
166 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to determine whether Spanish-enhanced administration of a standardized math assessment would result in improved scores for English Learners who used Spanish as a heritage language. Twenty-one typically developing second-graders (English Learners) were administered the traditional KeyMath-3. If the child made an error on an item, a Spanish version of the item was presented. Difference scores were calculated to determine whether the Spanish-enhanced version resulted in improved scores. Data were analyzed using paired t-tests and simple regression. The data results showed that all children significantly benefited from the Spanish-enhanced administration of items answered incorrectly in English. The amount of benefit was predicted by a child's degree of Spanish dominance. It was concluded that standardized math tests that do not accommodate second-language learners may be inadvertently testing language skills in addition to math skills. Implications for assessment and interpretations of assessments are discussed.
    Psychology in the Schools 01/2013; 50(1). DOI:10.1002/pits.21656 · 0.72 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate receptive vocabulary achievement among French-English bilinguals in Canada. Standardized test scores of receptive vocabulary were measured in both languages from preschool, early-elementary, and late-elementary French-English bilingual children, and French-English bilingual adults. Mean vocabulary scores across all bilingual age groups were statistically equivalent to or above the standard mean in French and English with the exception of the early-elementary bilinguals who scored below the standard mean on the English vocabulary assessment. Mean vocabulary scores of the preschool and adult bilingual groups were not significantly different from those of their monolingual peers in either language. However, early-elementary and late-elementary bilingual children scored significantly lower than monolinguals on the English vocabulary assessment. The positive sociocultural context for French-English bilingualism in Canada as well as language input changes in school are discussed as underlying reasons for these findings.
    Bilingualism 10/2014; 17(04):810-821. DOI:10.1017/S1366728913000813 · 1.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We examined the extent to which positive interactions with peers and the amount of English exposure received from them during social interactions in the fall of preschool contributed to low-income Spanish-speaking children's (N = 107; Mage = 53 months; SD = 4.30 months; 56% boys) English vocabulary and letter-word skills in the spring (controlling for parents’ language use, family income, number of English books at home, and children's nonverbal cognitive abilities). We also examined the mediating roles of children's learning behaviors (e.g., attentiveness, independence, initiative, persistence, and participation) and English oral proficiency in the classroom. The association between positive peer interactions and English vocabulary skills was mediated by children's English oral proficiency, whereas the association between positive peer interactions and English letter-word skills was mediated by children's learning behaviors and English oral proficiency. The associations among peer English exposure and children's English vocabulary and letter-word skills were mediated by children's English oral proficiency. There was also evidence of a transactional association between positive peer interactions and children's learning behaviors and between peers’ and children's English oral proficiency. The findings highlight the importance of peer experiences in fostering Spanish-speaking preschoolers’ English vocabulary and letter-word skills.
    Early Childhood Research Quarterly 01/2014; 29(4). DOI:10.1016/j.ecresq.2014.07.006 · 1.67 Impact Factor

Full-text

Download
5 Downloads
Available from
Jan 26, 2015