Article

Trilingualism and reading difficulty in a third (school) language: A case study of an at-risk child in French immersion

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  • Toronto Metropolitan University (former Ryerson)
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Abstract

This longitudinal study documents a trilingual child’s struggle with decoding and word recognition, the remedies sought to help him start reading in his second language (English) while he was in French immersion, and his performance after the intervention on tests of phonological awareness in L1 Romanian, L2 English, and L3 French. The study commenced at age 5;6, when the child, Alex, was in English kindergarten and diagnosed with a reading deficit. The initial diagnostic assessment uncovered his near-complete lack of phonological awareness, a key ingredient of emergent reading. An intervention using a multisensory approach to reading was used twice a week until the child was 7;9, at which point he was completing grade 2 in French immersion. Alex’s phonological processing abilities were assessed in all three languages immediately after remediation in order to determine: (i) whether his phonological processing skills improved in English, the language of the intervention; (ii) whether there were similar effects in the two non-remediation languages (Romanian and French); and, finally, (iii) whether children at-risk for reading difficulties are able to continue their education in an L3, such as French in an immersion context.

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This review examines the effectiveness of educational technology applications in improving the reading achievement of struggling readers in elementary schools. The review applies consistent inclusion standards to focus on studies that met high methodological standards. A total of 20 studies based on about 7,000 students in grades 1–6 were included in the final analysis. Findings indicate that educational technology applications produced a positive but small effect on the reading skills of struggling readers (ES = .14) in comparison with “business as usual” methods. Among four types of educational technology applications, small-group integrated applications such as Read, Write & Type and the Lindamood Phoneme Sequence Program produced the largest effect sizes (ES = .32). These are tutorial educational technology applications that use small-group interaction tightly integrated with reading curriculum. Supplementary models, such as Jostens and Lexia, had a larger number of studies (N = 12) and a more modest effect size (ES = .18). Comprehensive models, such as READ 180 and ReadAbout (ES = .04) and Fast ForWord (ES = .06), did not produce meaningful positive effect sizes. However, the results of these two categories of programs should be interpreted with extreme caution due to the small number of studies involved. More studies are required to validate the effectiveness of all technology applications. Policy implications are discussed. 本综述研究考查小学教育技术应用程序,在提高有阅读困难学生的阅读成绩方面的有效性。本综述研究使用一致的纳入考查标准,聚焦在达到高标准方法的研究项目。被纳入作最终研究分析的相关研究共20项,其研究对象都是小一至小六年级的学生,人数约7000名。调查结果显示,教育技术程序应用与其他”一切如常”的教学方法相比较下,在有阅读困难学生的阅读技巧方面,能产生一个积极但小规模的效应(效应值=.14)。在四种类型的教育技术应用程序中,以小组综合性的应用程序(例如「读、写与键入」和「Lindamood 音素序列教程」)所产生之效应为最大(效应值=.32)。这些都是使用小组式互动与阅读课程紧密综合起来的辅导教育技术应用程序。补充性的教育技术应用程序(例如Jostens和Lexia)有较多相关的研究(N = 12)和产生较小的效应(效应值=.18)。广泛性的教育技术应用程序,例如「阅读180」和「阅读有关」(效应值=.04)以及「快速拼读」(效应值=.06),并没有产生有意义的正面效应。然而,读者应十分谨慎去理解这两个类别的教育技术应用程序所得出的研究结果,因为这些结果只涉及少数量的研究项目。如要验证所有教育技术应用程序之有效性,则需考查更多的相关研究项目。本文结论部分讨论这综述研究结果对政策的启示。 Esta evaluación examina la eficacia de aplicaciones tecnológicas educativas para mejorar la lectura de estudiantes con dificultades en escuelas primarias. La evaluación emplea estándares consistentes de inclusión para enfocarse en estudios que satisficieron estándares metodológicos altos. Un total de 20 estudios basados en aproximadamente 7,000 estudiantes de primer a sexto grado fueron incluidos en el análisis final. Los resultados indican que las aplicaciones tecnológicas educativas produjeron un efecto positivo aunque pequeño en las habilidades lectoras de estudiantes con dificultades (ES = .14) comparado con los métodos de siempre. Entre cuatro tipos de aplicaciones tecnológicas educativas, aplicaciones integradas de grupos pequeños como los de Read, Wrtie & Type y el Lindamood Phoneme Sequence Program produjeron los efectos más notables (ES = .32). Estas son aplicaciones tecnológicas educacionales de tutoría que usan la interacción en grupos pequeños estrechamente integradas con el currículo de lectura. Había un mayor número de estudios (N = 12) de modelos suplementarios, como el de Jostens and Lexia, que mostraron un efecto más modesto (ES = .18). Modelos amplios, como READ 180 y ReadAbout (ES = .04) y Fast ForWord (ES = .06), no produjeron efectos positivos de importancia. Sin embargo, los resultados de estas dos categorías de programas deben ser interpretados con mucha precaución debido al número muy reducido de estudios involucrados. Se necesitan más estudios para convalidar la eficacia de todas las aplicaciones tecnológicas. Se discuten las implicaciones para las normas. تفحص هذه المراجعة فعالية تطبيقات التقنية التعليمية في تحسين إنجاز القراءة لدى القراء الضعفاء في المدارس الابتدائية. وتطبق هذه المراجعة معايير متضمنة متطابقة للتركيز على الدراسات التي حظت بمعايير منهجية عالية. وقد تم انضمام 20 دراسة مبنية على ما تقارب 7،000 طالباً في الصفوف الأول إلى السادس في التحليل النهائي. تشير النتائج إلى أن التطبيقات التقنية التعليمية أنتجت تأثيراً إيجابياً إنما صغيراً على مهارات القراءة لدى القراء الضعفاء (حجم التأثير = .14) بالمقارنة مع مناهج ((بقاء الأمور على حالها)). ومن بين الأنواع الأربعة من التطبيقات التقنية التعليمية، فإن التطبيقات المندمجة في مجموعات صغيرة مثل برنامج القراءة والكتابة والضرب على الآلة الكاتبة وبرنامج لندامود لتسلسل الصوتيات قد أنتجت أكبر أحجام التأثير (= .32). وتستخدم التطبيقات التقنية التعليمية هذه تفاعلات في مجموعات صغيرة مندمجة اندماجاً مُحكَماً مع منهاج القراءة بينما تمتعت النماذج التكميلية مثل جونستن وليكزيا بعدد أكبر من الدراسات (عدد = 12) وكان حجم تأثيرها أكثر تواضعاً (= .18). غير أن النماذج الشمولية مثل قراءة 180 وريد أبوت (حجم تأثيرهما = .04) وفاست فورورد (حجم تأثيره = .06) لم تنتج أحجام تأثير إيجابية ذات المعنى. بيد أن نتائج هذين الصنفين من النماذج ينبغي أن يتم تفسيرها مع حذر شديد بسبب عدد دراساتها الضئيل. ومن ثم فأنه يتطلب إتمام أكبر عدد من الدراسات لإثبات فعالية كل التطبيقات التقنية. ونناقش دلالة السياسة. Aвтopы пpeдлaгaют oбзop эффeктивнocти paзличныx кoмпьютepизиpoвaнныx мeтoдoв oбyчeния чтeнию, пpeднaзнaчeнныx для paбoты c yчeникaми нaчaльнoй шкoлы, кoтopыe иcпытывaют тpyднocти в чтeнии. Meтoды и пpoгpaммы включaлиcь в oбзop пo eдиным cтpoгим кpитepиям, и вce oни cooтвeтcтвyют выcoким мeтoдичecким cтaндapтaм. B oбщeй cлoжнocти oцeнивaютcя 20 иccлeдoвaний, ocнoвaнныx нa пpoвepкe пpиблизитeльнo 7000 yчaщиxcя c пepвoгo пo шecтoй клacc. Peзyльтaты cвидeтeльcтвyют o тoм, чтo – пo cpaвнeнию дeтьми из кoнтpoльнoй гpyппы, кoтopыx oбyчaли oбычным oбpaзoм, – “ocoбыe пoдxoды” oкaзывaют пoзитивнoe, нo нecyщecтвeннoe влияниe нa нaвыки дeтeй, иcпытывaющиx пpoблeмы c чтeниeм (ES =.14). Cpeди чeтыpex типoв пpoгpaмм c пpимeнeниeм кoмпьютepныx тexнoлoгий нaибoлee эффeктивными (ES =.32) oкaзaлиcь тe, гдe дeти тpeниpyютcя в мaлыx гpyппax в тoчнoм cooтвeтcтвии c yчeбным плaнoм пo чтeнию: Read, Write & Type (Пpoчти, зaпиши и нaпeчaтaй) и Lindamood Phoneme Sequence Program (Фoнeмaтичecкaя пpoгpaммa Пaтpишии Линдaмyд). Бoльшee чиcлo иccлeдoвaний (N = 12) были пocвящeны вcпoмoгaтeльным yчeбным мoдeлям, тaким кaк, нaпpимep, Jostens и Lexia. Иx эффeктивнocть oкaзaлacь cкpoмнee (ES =.18). Кoмплeкcныe мoдeли дaли eщe мeньший пoлoжитeльный эффeкт: READ 180 и ReadAbout (ES =.04) и Fast ForWord (ES =.06), нo вocпpинимaть эти peзyльтaты cлeдyeт кpaйнe ocтopoжнo, тaк кaк иccлeдoвaний пo ним мaлo. Для yтoчнeния эффeктивнocти вcex тexнoлoгий нeoбxoдимo пpoвecти дoпoлнитeльныe иccлeдoвaния. B кoнцe oбзopa oбcyждaeтcя знaчeниe пoлyчeнныx дaнныx для oбpaзoвaтeльнoй пoлитики. Cette revue de question s'intéresse aux applications de technologie pédagogique qui visent à améliorer la lecture des enfants en difficulté en lecture à l’école élémentaire. Cette revue exige des normes de haut niveau méthodologique pour l'inclusion des travaux dans le corpus. Nous avons inclus finalement dans l'analyse un total de 20 études comportant environ 7000 élèves du CP à la 6e. Les résultats montrent que les applications de technologie pédagogique ont un effet positif mais petit sur les compétences en lecture des mauvais lecteurs (ES = .14) en comparaison avec les méthodes tout venant. Parmi les quatre types d'applications de technologie pédagogique, les applications avec petits groupes intégrés, comme celle de Read, Write & Type et le Programme de séquence phonémique de Lindamood, produit les effets les plus massifs (ES = .32). Il s'agit d'applications de technologie pédagogique recourant à une interaction en petit groupe étroitement liée au programme de lecture. Des modèles supplémentaires, comme celui de Jostens et Lexia, comptent un grand nombre d’études (N = 12) et un effet de taille plus modeste (ES = .18). Les modèles compréhensifs, comme READ 180 et ReadAbout (ES = .04) et Fast ForWord (ES = .06), ne produisent pas d'effet ayant une taille significative. Toutefois, il faut interpréter les résultats de ces deux catégories de programme avec une très grande précaution compte tenu du petit nombre d’études concernées. Il est nécessaire de disposer de davantage d’études pour valider l'efficacité de toutes les applications technologiques. La discussion porte sur les implications politiques.
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In three large samples (N = 1248) of children learning to read German we investigated the correlations between rapid automatized naming (RAN), phonological awareness (PA), phonological decoding (nonword reading fluency), and orthographic processing (word reading fluency and spelling). In a series of hierarchical regression analyses, RAN explained more variance in word and nonword reading fluency than PA, whereas PA explained more variance in spelling than RAN. This pattern was confirmed when PA response times were assessed instead of response accuracy. Two further regression models challenge the view that the RAN-literacy association is mediated by orthographic processing. First, RAN accounts for unique variance in word reading fluency even when differences in orthographic spelling were introduced before RAN. Second, RAN accounts for hardly any variance in word reading fluency when introduced after nonword reading fluency.
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The development of spelling skills was investigated at four points over the first 3 years of schooling in 153 British children. In order to uncover the developmental relationship between spelling and reading ability and to identify the component skills of spelling, children were assessed with a large battery of tests, including reading, phoneme awareness, letter-sound and letter-name knowledge, memory, and verbal and nonverbal IQ. Spelling productions were assessed both for phonological plausibility and for conventional accuracy. A path analysis revealed that phoneme segmentation and letter-sound knowledge were the precursor skills of early phonological spelling ability; in turn phonological spelling combined with reading to promote conventional spelling skill. Although initial phonological spelling ability predicted later reading, early reading ability did not influence later phonological spelling ability. These results indicate that skilled spelling requires a foundation in phonological transcoding ability which in turn enables the formation of orthographic representations. Our data also suggest that the increasingly complex and specific orthographic patterns demonstrated in children's spelling are learned through experience and instruction in both reading and spelling.
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This book provides the first systematic descriptive analysis of the phonological system of Romanian, one of the less studied Romance languages, from the perspective of recent phonological theory. The author offers an account of some of the major phonological processes of modern standard Romanian, set in the framework of Optimality Theory and Correspondence Theory.The book begins with an overview of Romanian phonology - segment inventory, phonotactics, inflectional and derivational morphology. The main part of the study focuses on processes involving vocalic segments: glide-vowel and diphthong-vowel alternations, vowel harmony, palatalization. The major issues addressed include feature theory, syllable structure, metrical structure and stress, the interaction between phonology and morphology. Acoustic phonetic data is used as supporting evidence for the phonological patterning of diphthongs and glide-vowel sequences. Interesting complexities of the system are pointed out and discussed, as they pose certain challenges to the theoretical model.The book contains an abundance of systematically organized data, which makes it a solid reference for students and scholars of general and Romance phonology, and a strong basis for further study.
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We examined the growth of spelling skills in a large sample of Norwegian children (N = 228) over the first 3 years in school. The roles of phoneme awareness, letter knowledge, rapid automatized naming (RAN), visual–verbal paired-associate learning, and verbal short-term memory as predictors of later spelling skills were examined. Phoneme awareness and letter knowledge together with nonalphanumeric RAN and verbal short-term memory were independent longitudinal predictors of both word and nonword spelling. In addition growth mixture modeling suggested that individual variations in the growth of word spelling were best characterized as variations around a single trajectory, whereas growth in nonword spelling was better characterized as variations around two distinct trajectories. The results are related to current theories about the cognitive and linguistic foundations of spelling.
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purpose was to examine three closely related questions by testing children, at several points through their first year in school, on different phonemic knowledge tasks and tests of reading skill can evidence be brought to bear on the contribution of phonemic knowledge to reading in relation to the contribution of reading to phonemic knowledge can we model some components of phonemic knowledge by reference to performance on different phonemic tasks are children who are taught by a direct code method more dependent on phonemic knowledge than are children taught by indirect code methods and commercial based readers (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Comments on the discussion of the relationships between segmental analysis and alphabetic literacy by J. Morais et al (see record 1988-35331-001), arguing that recognition and appreciation of rhyming in children is a prereading phonological awareness that depends on strings longer than the phoneme and that this awareness is useful in developing reading and spelling skills. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The construct validity of English and Spanish phonological awareness (PA) tasks was examined with a sample of 812 kindergarten children from 71 transitional bilingual education program classrooms located in 3 different types of geographic regions in California and Texas. Tasks of PA, including blending nonwords, segmenting words, and phoneme elision, were measured in Spanish and in English and analyzed via multilevel confirmatory factor analysis at the task level. Results showed that the PA tasks defined a unitary construct at both the student and classroom levels in each language. English and Spanish PA factors were related to each other (.93 and .83 at the student and classroom levels, respectively) as well as to word reading, both within languages (correlations estimated between .74 and .93) and across languages (correlations estimated between .47 and .79). Although the PA constructs were statistically separable in each language, the high correlation between Spanish and English PA indicates considerable overlap in these abilities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Three studies are reported that examine the development of phonological awareness in monolingual and bilingual children between kindergarten and Grade 2. In the first study, monolingual and bilingual children performed equally well on a complex task requiring phoneme substitution. The second study replicated these results and demonstrated a significant role for the language of literacy instruction. The third study extended the research by including two groups of bilingual children and a range of phonological awareness and reading tasks. Spanish-English bilinguals performed better than English-speaking monolinguals on a phoneme segmentation task, but Chinese-English bilinguals performed worse. Other measures of phonological awareness did not differ among the three groups. The results are discussed in terms of a limit on the effect that bilingualism exerts on metalinguistic development.
Development of English- and Spanish-reading skills was explored in a sample of 251 Spanish-speaking English-language learners from kindergarten through Grade 2. Word identification and reading comprehension developed at a normal rate based on monolingual norms for Spanish- and English-speaking children, but English oral language lagged significantly behind. Four categories of predictor variables were obtained in Spanish in kindergarten and in English in first grade: print knowledge, expressive language (as measured by vocabulary and sentence repetition tasks), phonological awareness, and rapid automatic naming (RAN). Longitudinal regression analyses indicated a modest amount of cross-language transfer from Spanish to English. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that developing English-language skills (particularly phonological awareness and RAN) mediated the contribution of Spanish-language variables to later reading. Further analyses revealed stronger within- than cross-language associations of expressive language with later reading, suggesting that some variables function cross-linguistically, and others within a particular language. Results suggest that some of the cognitive factors underlying reading disabilities in monolingual children (e.g., phonological awareness and RAN) may be important to an understanding of reading difficulties in bilingual children.
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Four groups of children in first grade were compared on early literacy tasks. Children in three of the groups were bilingual, each group representing a different combina-tion of language and writing system, and children in the fourth group were monolin-gual speakers of English. All the bilingual children used both languages daily and were learning to read in both languages. The children solved decoding and phonolog-ical awareness tasks, and the bilinguals completed all tasks in both languages. Initial differences between the groups in factors that contribute to early literacy were con-trolled in an analysis of covariance, and the results showed a general increment in reading ability for all the bilingual children but a larger advantage for children learn-ing two alphabetic systems. Similarly, bilinguals transferred literacy skills across languages only when both languages were written in the same system. Therefore, the extent of the bilingual facilitation for early reading depends on the relation between the two languages and writing systems. Learning to read is indisputably the premier academic achievement of early schooling. It prepares children for their educational futures and is the key to the possibilities that their futures hold for them. Thus, if knowing two languages at the time that literacy is introduced, or learning to read in a language that is not the child's dominant one, or acquiring literacy simultaneously in two languages af-fects the outcome of literacy instruction, then it would be important to know that. These possibilities affect a sizable portion of the world's children: A significant number are bilingual at the time they begin reading, many are instructed in a lan-guage they do not speak at home, and some number of those are expected to ac-quire this skill in two languages.
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In this study we examined the benefits of computer programs designed to supplement regular reading instruction in an urban public school system. The programs provide systematic exercises for mastering word-attack strategies. Our findings indicate that first graders who participated in the programs made significant reading gains over the school year. Their post-test scores were slightly (but not significantly) greater than the post-test scores of control children who received regular reading instruction without the programs. When analyses were restricted to low-performing children eligible for Title I services, significantly higher post-test scores were obtained by the treatment group compared to the control group. At post-test Title I children in the treatment group performed at levels similar to non-Title I students.
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