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Beating the odds: A longitudinal investigation of low-income dual-language and monolingual children's English language and literacy performance

The current study reports on the results of a longitudinal investigation of the language and early literacy development of a sample of dual-language learners (DLLs) and monolingual English speakers from low-income families who received an Early Reading First intervention during their Head Start preschool year. A total of 62 children who entered and remained in the same school district were followed from kindergarten through 2nd grade. The results indicate that both the DLLs and monolingual English speakers in the study showed similar developmental trajectories on receptive vocabulary, story recall, decoding, and letter and word identification from preschool through the 2nd grade. Furthermore, at the end of 2nd grade, the 2 groups' vocabulary, story recall, reading fluency, decoding, and letter and word identification performances were similar and within the normal range for children their age. Practice or Policy: The study's findings suggest that a strong preschool language and literacy program can reduce the English language gap between DLLs and monolingual English speakers from low-income families. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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