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The Role of Prekindergarten Spanish in Predicting First-Grade English Word Reading Among Dual-Language Learners

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC)
  • Carol Mesa
  • Gloria Yeomans-Maldonado
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/06/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number6
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)1755-1774
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The purpose of the current study was to examine the role that the first language (L1), Spanish, at Pre-Kindergarten plays in predicting second language (L2), English, word reading in first grade. In addition, it examines the role of conceptual vocabulary in predicting word reading in English.
As part of a longitudinal study of predictors and models of reading comprehension from Pre-kindergarten to third grade, 248 children attending preschool programs completed Spanish and English measures in the spring of each academic year. In this paper, we report the results of English and Spanish measures of oral language and literacy skills that were administered in Pre-Kindergarten and four measures of English word reading that were administered in first grade.
Results from structural equation modeling indicated that Spanish oral language made significant direct and indirect contributions to English oral language and word reading. Further, results supported previous evidence indicating that L2 letter knowledge and L2 oral language proficiency are the strongest predictors of L2 word reading in first grade.
Similar to findings with monolingual English-speaking children, results support findings that in the early stages of reading development, oral language in both L1 and L2 make a significant and independent contribution to word reading. This study has important implications for the support of oral language skills in Latino preschool children.