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Socio-emotional skills, behavior problems, and Spanish competence predict the acquisition of English among English language learners in poverty

Resource Type: Reports & Papers
Author(s): Winsler, Adam; Kim, Yoon Kyong; Richard, Erin R.;
Date Issued: September, 2014
Description: This article analyzes the role that individual differences in children's cognitive, Spanish competence, and socio-emotional and behavioral skills play in predicting the concurrent and longitudinal acquisition of English among a large sample of ethnically diverse, low-income, Hispanic preschool children. Participants assessed at age 4 for language, cognitive, socio-emotional, and behavioral skills were followed through kindergarten. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that Spanish-speaking preschoolers with greater initiative, self-control, and attachment and fewer behavior problems at age 4 were more successful in obtaining English proficiency by the end of kindergarten compared to those initially weaker in these skills, even after controlling for cognitive/language skills and demographic variables. Also, greater facility in Spanish at age 4 predicted the attainment of English proficiency. Social and behavioral skills and proficiency in Spanish are valuable resources for low-income English language learners during their transition to school. (author abstract)
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Funder(s): Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe ; Children's Trust (Miami-Dade County (Fla.))
Journal Title: Developmental Psychology
Volume Number: 50
Issue Number: 9
Page Range: 2242-2254
Note: This resource is based on data from the Miami School Readiness Project (2003-2004 cohort)
Topics: Children & Child Development > Child Development & School Readiness

Children & Child Development > Children with Special Needs & Special Child Populations > Native Language
Country: United States
States: FLORIDA
ISSN: 1939-0599 Online
0012-1649 Paper
Peer Reviewed: yes
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