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Assessing the phonological skills of bilingual children from preschool through kindergarten: Developmental progression and cross-language transfer

The developmental progression hypothesis for phonological awareness states that children perform better on lower level tasks and has been addressed mainly in the literature with children beginning at age 5. In addition, there has been a limited amount of research done regarding the performance of dual-language learners younger than age 5 on phonological awareness tasks. There is a need for a valid measure of phonological awareness for bilingual preschool children at an earlier age. This article addresses three purposes: (1) developing a reliable measure of phonological awareness for bilingual preschool children, (2) testing the developmental progression hypothesis in English and Spanish, and (3) comparing longitudinal performance across language on the measure. Two hundred and forty-one Spanish-English bilingual children were assessed on the author-developed Phonological Awareness Test at three time points (mean age of 4.58, mean age of 4.96, mean age of 5.94). Findings indicate differences in developmental progression by language as well as shifts in performance across language as children go through school. The children in this study transition from a language-specific model of phonological awareness to a more skill specific model of phonological awareness as they progress through school. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
Maryland; Massachusetts

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