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Spanish-English dual language learners' bilingual profiles: Executive function and developmental outcomes


The current study took a strengths-based person-centered approach in examining academic and social-emotional outcomes of Spanish-English Dual Language Learning (DLL) children enrolled in Head Start. The study sample includes a total of 392 Hispanic Spanish-English DLLs (49% girls) between the ages of three and five. Latent profile analyses revealed that four groups of differing levels of bilingual proficiency existed (i.e., Emergent Bilingual, English Dominant, Spanish Dominant, and Proficient Bilingual). Overall, groups with higher language proficiency scored higher on executive functioning (EF), academic, and social-emotional outcomes. There were no differences between English and Spanish Dominant children's performance. Academic and social-emotional scores differed by profile through EF. Findings demonstrate the importance of supporting both languages as proficiency and EF were related and associated with other outcomes. Finally, given the associations found in the current study, EF appears to be a critical skill for young DLL children's academic and social-emotional development. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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