ERIC Number: ED255049
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Applying First-Language Skills to Second-Language Comprehension: Narrative Comprehension by Spanish-English Speakers. Bilingual Education Paper Series, Vol. 6, No. 12.
Goldman, Susan R.; And Others
A group of studies of children's understanding of narratives, the degree to which knowledge available in the child's first language is used in understanding second-language input, and the relationship between knowledge use in two languages as children become bilingual and acquire age-appropriate literacy skills are discussed. The subjects were bilingual children in kindergarten through fifth grade with either English or Spanish as a first language. Their reading and listening comprehension of selected Aesop's fables was measured by means of story recall, "why," and moral-of-the-story questions. The results indicated that knowledge used to guide story comprehension in a first language is also used to guide it in the second language, contingent on mastery of basic auditory or orthographic coding skills in the second language. This finding reinforces the instructional practice of using the primary language as the language of instruction while English is introduced as a second language. In addition, while there may be some skills that require direct instruction, on which students may be expected to differ as a function of classroom lesson plans, these seem to be transitory, not persisting for more than one grade. The data also indicate that narrative comprehension skills as assessed in these studies are no different for students learning in either one language or two during elementary school. (MSE)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Bilingualism, Children, Elementary Education, English, English (Second Language), Interlanguage, Language Acquisition, Language of Instruction, Listening Comprehension, Logical Thinking, Reading Comprehension, Recall (Psychology), Second Language Learning, Spanish, Transfer of Training
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California State Univ., Los Angeles. Evaluation, Dissemination and Assessment Center.
Note: Revised version of a paper presented at the Annual International Bilingual and Bicultural Education Conference of the National Association for Bilingual Education (12th, Washington, DC, February 17-20, 1983).