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Relations between early reading and writing skills among Spanish-speaking language minority children

Although there is a growing body of literature on the development of reading skills of Spanish-speaking language minority children, little research has focused on the development of writing skills in this population. This study evaluated whether children's Spanish early reading skills (i.e., print knowledge, phonological awareness, oral language) were related to their Spanish and English early writing skills using a sample of 554 children whose home language was Spanish. Multivariate regression analyses with simultaneous outcomes (Spanish and English invented spelling skills) were conducted to evaluate whether children's early reading and writing skills were related across languages. Results indicated that children's print knowledge and phonological awareness skills, but not oral language skills, were significantly related to their Spanish and English invented spelling skills. Spanish early literacy skills were not differentially related to Spanish and English reading and writing skills. The magnitude of the relations between print knowledge and oral language skills and children's invented spelling skills varied as a function of child age; however, the magnitude of the relation between phonological awareness and invented spelling skills did not differ as a function of child age. Furthermore, results suggested that language minority children's early reading and writing skills are related but distinct constructs and that children may be able to apply information gained from learning to read and write in their first language when learning to write in their second language. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
California; Florida; Kansas; Massachusetts; New Mexico

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