Examining the relationship between emergent literacy skills and invented spelling in prekindergarten Spanish-speaking dual language learners
The purpose of the present study was to examine associations among English and Spanish emergent literacy skills of prekindergarten (pre-K) Spanish-speaking dual language learners in relation to their English invented spelling. Study participants included 141 Spanish-speaking 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs in a large urban city located in the Southeast. All children were receiving English-only instruction. Children's Spanish and English receptive vocabulary and code-related skills were assessed in the fall and spring of their pre-K year, but their invented spelling was assessed only in the spring. Research Findings: Analyses revealed significant correlations among children's English and Spanish receptive vocabulary as well as English and Spanish early code-related skills in the fall and spring of the school year. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed direct contributions of children's English vocabulary and growth in Spanish code-related skills across the year to children's English invented spelling in the spring of the school year. This analysis also revealed that associations between children's English code-related skills and invented spelling appear to work through Spanish code-related skills. Practice or Policy: In order to promote young dual language learners' English invented spelling skills, early childhood educators should seek to support children's English vocabulary and English and Spanish code-related emergent literacy skills. (author abstract)
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