Alexandra Gottardo

Alexandra Gottardo
Wilfrid Laurier University | WLU · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

62
Publications
93,628
Reads
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2,476
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2000 - present
Wilfrid Laurier University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
July 1997 - July 2000
Grand Valley State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 1997 - July 1997
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (62)
Article
The relationships among first language (L1) and second language (L2) phonological awareness and reading skills were examined in English L2 learners with a variety of L1s, specifically Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese (maximum N = 252). Longitudinal and concurrent relations between word reading and subcomponents of phonological awareness (i.e., syll...
Article
Full-text available
The Culture and Second Language Learning in Migrants Research Topic contributed towards our understanding of how culture is an integral component of second language learning, acquisition, and performance. Across articles, numerous sophisticated and rigorous methodologies were used to answer very diverse sets of research questions. Together, this co...
Article
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First-generation refugee children often experience pre- and post-migration adversity and display high levels of mental health/wellbeing difficulties, but to date, research has not examined the impact of such factors on refugee children's L2 acquisition. Accordingly, this study examined the influence of externalizing and internalizing problem behavi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many immigrant children in minority language settings learn to read in their second language (L2), which is the language of their country of residence, prior to their L1. Differences between groups of learners become more evident when children follow this literacy learning pattern with different scripts and linguistic typologies for the languages t...
Article
Full-text available
Many immigrant children in minority language settings learn to read in their second language (L2), which is the language of their country of residence, prior to their L1. Differences between groups of learners become more evident when children follow this literacy learning pattern with different scripts and linguistic typologies for the languages t...
Article
The present study examined the impact of professional development training on Canadian and Kenyan teachers’ confidence, comfort, and perceptions of their abilities to teach early literacy skills in the primary or elementary grades. Data were collected prior to and following training on how to integrate early literacy software as part of ongoing in-...
Article
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Conjunctions facilitate text cohesion and comprehension by making explicit the logical relationships between ideas in written language. Conjunctions may be challenging for English language learners (ELLs) because of their novel, abstract, and text‐connecting role. In this longitudinal study we aimed to clarify the connections among comprehension of...
Article
Research has shown that language and literacy skills in a first language (L1) are related to performance in a second language (L2) and that these relations are reciprocal. However, cross‐linguistic skills related to word reading are influenced by numerous factors. These include linguistic factors such as the specific language and literacy skills be...
Article
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This longitudinal study examined morphosyntactic development in the heritage Arabic-L1 and English-L2 of first-generation Syrian refugee children (mean age = 9.5; range = 6–13) within their first three years in Canada. Morphosyntactic abilities were measured using sentence repetition tasks (SRT) in English and Syrian Arabic that included diverse mo...
Article
This study examined the sources of reading comprehension difficulties in English language learners (ELLs). The characteristics of ELL poor comprehenders were compared to their English as a first language (EL1) peers. Participants included 124 ELLs who spoke Chinese as an L1 and 79 EL1 students. Using a regression technique based on age, non-verbal...
Article
Word reading is a fundamental skill in reading and one of the building blocks of reading comprehension. Theories have posited that for second language (L2) learners, word reading skills are related if the children have sufficient experience in the L2 and are literate in the first language (L1). The L1 and L2 reading, phonological awareness skills,...
Article
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Canada has resettled more than 57,000 Syrian refugees since 2015 (Government of Canada, 2017). However, little is known about refugee children’s language and literacy development. The present study evaluated Syrian refugee children’s performance on language and literacy measures in English and Arabic, and examined whether the simple view of reading...
Article
Research on the bilingual development of refugee children is limited, despite this group having distinct characteristics and migration experiences that could impact language development. This study examined the role of language environment factors, alongside age and cognitive factors, in shaping the Arabic as a first/heritage language and English a...
Article
This study provided workshops for parents on either early literacy or socio-emotional learning to examine the impact on their children’s reading and social skills development (n = 576 parents; n = 584 children). Parents of kindergartners were offered interactive workshops designed to help them identify everyday opportunities to support reading skil...
Article
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The purpose of the present study was to examine the predictive value of a dynamic test of English and French lexical specificity on at-risk reading classification in 13 at-risk and 44 not at-risk emerging English (L1)–French (L2) bilingual Grade 1 children (M = 75.87 months, SD = 3.18) enrolled in an early French immersion program in Canada. Lexica...
Chapter
Early literacy skills have been the focus of considerable research for the past two decades. Many instructional interventions have been developed to help improve children's acquisition of key skills – among the most recent is an array of software programs. In this chapter we review the foundations for software design, instructional theories related...
Article
Full-text available
As posited by the simple view of reading, listening comprehension and decoding are necessary for reading comprehension. Thus, the present study examined subcomponents of listening comprehension (i.e., vocabulary, morphology, and syntax) and their contributions to reading comprehension. The novel aspect of this study is that rather than examining li...
Chapter
We discuss the cross-language relationships of phonological awareness, morphological awareness, and vocabulary in the context of English and Chinese and also how these three constructs are related to word reading within and between the two languages. We focused on a series of studies that have examined Chinese and English monolinguals, as well as...
Article
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Metacognitive aspects of decision-making processes were investigated in eight professional translators who translated related and unrelated texts from L2 English into L1 Portuguese and also from L1 into L2. Retrospective protocols were recorded after each translation task. Verbal utterances were classified into two categories (problem identificatio...
Chapter
This longitudinal study tested whether contributions of phonological awareness and morphological awareness to Chinese vocabulary and character reading measured one year later were similar for monolingual Chinese-speaking children in China and Chinese-English bilingual children in Canada. Participants included 79 Canadian and 93 Chinese children in...
Article
Full-text available
These two studies examined the processes underlying English and Chinese word reading in Chinese–English bilinguals in relation to their experiences with their second language (L2), as determined by length of time in an English-speaking environment. Phonological awareness, morphological awareness and vocabulary measures were administered in English...
Article
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Strong vocabulary knowledge is important for success in reading comprehension for English language learners (ELLs). The interplay between first (L1) and second language (L2) vocabulary knowledge in L2 English reading comprehension was examined to determine whether ELLs, whose command of L1 and L2 vocabulary varied across languages, differed in Engl...
Article
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The primary goal of this research was to extend our understanding of the strengths and weaknesses inherent in online and offline early literacy software programs designed for young learners. A taxonomy of reading skills was used to contrast online software with offline closed system (compact disc) based programs with respect to number of skills tau...
Chapter
Full-text available
The most significant challenge for the minority immigrant is learning a new language. They arrive in a new culture and community hoping to master English quickly in order to achieve their academic and career goals. However, many immigrants have mentioned general barriers resulting from being unable to communicate with peers outside their cultural a...
Article
Full-text available
The role of first language (L1) skills in second language (L2) achievement is often investigated to assist learners in acquiring their L2. There are several factors that may influence potential relations among Spanish and English measures (e.g., age of L2 acquisition, social status, among others). This study investigates relations among L1 and L2 v...
Article
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The present study examined the language and literacy skills and their relations to each other in multilingual children, who have a broad range of oral and written language proficiency in each language that they “know”. Reading and vocabulary skills were tested in 50 Canadian children (ages 6–10 years) who were Urdu–English speakers, learning Arabic...
Chapter
Early literacy skills have been the focus of considerable research for the past two decades. Many instructional interventions have been developed to help improve children's acquisition of key skills - among the most recent is an array of software programs. In this chapter we review the foundations for software design, instructional theories related...
Article
Full-text available
The main focus of this study was to refine our understanding of the link between English proficiency and mainstream acculturation in adolescent Chinese immigrants. The sample consisted of 112 adolescents in grades 7–12 living in urban areas in southern Ontario, Canada. English proficiency was assessed individually using standardised tests of vocabu...
Chapter
This study examines the bidirectional, cross-linguistic associations between language and word-level reading skills and reading comprehension for 51 students in grades 4 to 6 who speak Spanish as first language (L1) and English as second language (L2). Within-language predictors of reading comprehension were consistent with the simple view of readi...
Article
Full-text available
This case study examined the translation performance of four professional translators with the aim of exploring the cognitive effort involved in direct and inverse translation. Four professional translators translated two comparable texts from English into Spanish and from Spanish into English. Eye-tracking technology was used to analyze the total...
Article
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Shared parent-child experiences while engaged with an iPad™ were examined to determine if and then how parents interact with their children when using mobile digital devices. In total, 104 parent-child dyads participated in an observation session where parent-child interactions using the touchscreen tablet device were video recorded in order to obs...
Article
Identifying effective literacy instruction programs has been a focal point for governments, educators and parents over the last few decades (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2004, 2006; Council of Ontario Directors of Education, 2011). Given the increasing use of computer technologies in the classroom and in the home, a variety of information communi...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined cross-language transfer of word reading accuracy and word reading fluency in Spanish–English and Chinese–English bilinguals. Participants included 51 Spanish–English and 64 Chinese–English bilinguals. Both groups of children completed parallel measures of phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, word reading accuracy, a...
Article
This study examines the bidirectional, cross-linguistic associations between language and word-level reading skills and reading comprehension for 51 students in grades 4 to 6 who speak Spanish as first language (L1) and English as second language (L2). Within-language predictors of reading comprehension were consistent with the simple view of readi...
Article
Computer technology is increasingly becoming a prevalent tool for instruction in early childhood education settings and in homes with young children [1-2]. Determining which software provides a valuable and pedagogically sound learning experience can be a challenge. The present study applied a developmentally appropriate taxonomy for reading skill...
Article
Full-text available
The main purpose of this study was to bridge the gap between the literature on cognitive variables related to English literacy learning skills, as suggested by the simple view of reading, and the literature on socio cultural variables, specifically acculturation. The sample consisted of 94 Chinese immigrant adolescents from grades 7 to 12 in Waterl...
Article
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The current study developed a taxonomy of reading skills and compared this taxonomy with skills being trained in 30 commercially available software programs designed to teach emergent literacy or literacy-specific skills for children in preschool, kindergarten, and Grade 1. Outcomes suggest that, although some skills are being trained in a developm...
Article
As computers become an increasingly ubiquitous part of young children's lives there is a need to examine how best to harness digital technologies to promote learning in early childhood education contexts. The development of emergent literacy skills is 1 domain for which numerous software programs are available for young learners. In this study, we...
Article
The validity of two measures of English reading comprehension was examined across three different groups of English language learners (ELLs; 64 Portuguese, 66 Spanish and 65 Cantonese). All three groups were achieving within the average range in second grade. An exploratory principal components analysis of reading skills was carried out to determin...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined factors related to reading comprehension in adolescents who spoke English as a first language (L1) and English as a second language (L2). Measures of decoding, vocabulary knowledge, and reading comprehension were administered to 31 L1 and 44 L2 speakers. English L2 adolescents scored significantly lower than their L1 peers on al...
Article
This study compared variables related to reading ability in Grade 3 students learning English as a first language (L1) and second language (L2). The students learning English as an L2 came from diverse backgrounds, with different levels of bilingualism in Spanish and English or Portuguese and English before they entered school. Both within-group an...
Article
Full-text available
First-language (L1) and 2nd-language (L2) oral language skills and L2 word reading were used as predictors to test the simple view of reading as a model of 2nd-language reading comprehension. The simple view of reading states that reading comprehension is related to decoding and oral language comprehension skills. One hundred thirty-one Spanish-spe...
Article
We examined the components of first (L1) and second language (L2) phonological processing that are related to L2 word reading and vocabulary. Spanish-speaking English learners (EL) were classified as average or low readers in grades 1 and 2. A large number of children who started out as poor readers in first grade became average readers in second g...
Article
Exposure to print is a significant predictor of vocabulary growth and declarative knowledge in normally achieving readers (Stanovich,West,&Harrison, 1995). Research has also shown that initial differences in print exposure can be used to predict differences in reading comprehension in children studied ten years after initial assessment (Cunningham...
Article
Full-text available
The relationships between phoneme categorisation, phonological processing, and reading performance were examined in Chinese‐English speaking children in an English‐speaking environment. Second language (L2, i.e., English) phonological processing but not phoneme categorisation was related to L2 reading. First language (L1) oral language skills were...
Article
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French/English bilingual children (N=40) in French language schools participated in an 8-month longitudinal study of the relation between phonological processing skills and reading in French and English. Participants were administered measures of phonological awareness, working memory, naming speed, and reading in both languages. The results of the...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the interaction between speech perception and sentential context among 13 poor readers and 49 good readers in grades one to three. Children's performance was examined on tasks assessing expressive and receptive vocabulary, reading skill, phonological awareness, pseudoword repetition, and phoneme identification. Good readers show...
Article
This study was conducted to determine the relationship between first (L1) and second language (L2) oral language proficiency and reading skills in Spanish-English speakers. Eighty-five children with Spanish as their L1 were tested in first grade. Reading, phonological processing, and oral language processing were measured in English and Spanish. Re...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined whether measures used to identify children at risk for reading failure are appropriate for children from different language backgrounds. Tasks assessing literacy and phonological and language processing at the beginning and end of kindergarten were administered to 540 native English speakers (NS), 59 bilingual children (BL), and...
Article
Full-text available
Parallel measures of phonological, syntactic, and orthographic processing skill and reading were administered in English and in Chinese to 65 children whose 1st language (L1) was Cantonese and whose 2nd language (L2) was English. Phonological skill was correlated across L1 and L2. Phonological skill in both L1 and L2 was correlated with L2 reading...
Article
Full-text available
Parallel measures of phonological, syntactic, and orthographic processing skill and reading were administered in English and in Chinese to 65 children whose 1st language (LI) was Cantonese and whose 2nd language (L2) was English. Phonological skill was correlated across LI and L2. Phonological skill in both LI and L2 was correlated with L2 reading...
Article
Sixty-eight third graders who were less-skilled readers performed more poorly than younger reading-level control children on tests of pseudoword reading and phonological sensitivity. These findings add to the growing consensus that the proximal cause of reading difficulties are spelling-sound coding problems that result from deficient underlying ph...
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Using regression-based procedures introduced by A. Castles and M. Coltheart (1993), the authors identified 17 phonological and 15 surface dyslexics from a sample of 68 reading-disabled 3rd-grade children by comparing them to chronological-age (CA) controls on exception word and pseudoword reading. However, when the dyslexic subtypes were defined by...
Article
The performance of 112 third-grade children was examined on tasks assessing phonological sensitivity, working memory, and syntactic processing. The children were also administered several measures of word recognition, pseudoword reading, and reading comprehension. A series of hierarchical regression analyses and commonality analyses indicated that...
Article
The ability of children with moderate mental retardation to analyze orally presented sentences into words and words into syllables and phonemes was studied. The subjects, aged 10 to 15, were grouped by method of reading instruction. All of them could analyze spoken sentences into words and words into syllables equally well. However, subjects receiv...

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Projects (3)
Project
The study aims at investigating how phonological awareness and morphological awareness contribute to English vocabulary development in bilingual adolescents from two different L1 backgrounds, Spanish and Chinese.