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Relations among the home language and literacy environment and children's language abilities: A study of Head Start dual language learners and their mothers

Resource Type: Reports & Papers
Author(s): Lewis, Kandia; Sandilos, Lia E.; Hammer, Carol Scheffner; Sawyer, Brook E.; Mendez, Lucia I.;
Date Issued: May, 2016
Description: This study explored the relations between Spanish-English dual language learner (DLL) children's home language and literacy experiences and their expressive vocabulary and oral comprehension abilities in Spanish and in English. Data from Spanish-English mothers of 93 preschool-age Head Start children who resided in central Pennsylvania were analyzed. Children completed the Picture Vocabulary and Oral Comprehension subtests of the Bateria III Woodcock-Munoz and the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement. Results revealed that the language spoken by mothers and children and the frequency of mother-child reading at home influenced children's Spanish language abilities. In addition, the frequency with which children told a story was positively related to children's performance on English oral language measures. Practice or Policy: The findings suggest that language and literacy experiences at home have a differential impact on DLLs' language abilities in their 2 languages. Specific components of the home environment that benefit and support DLL children's language abilities are discussed. (author abstract)

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