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ERIC Number: EJ1116886
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0922-4777
Doing More with Less: The Impact of Lexicon on Dual-Language Learners' Writing
Woolpert, Darin
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, v29 n9 p1865-1887 Nov 2016
Dual-language learner (DLL) children typically learn to write while still learning English, with vocabulary appearing to be a particularly vulnerable domain. This study investigates how a reduced English lexicon impacts English writing in DLL children. Participants were 100 Spanish-speaking DLLs and 100 of their monolingual classmates in first through fourth grades. Children were administered standardized tests of decoding and vocabulary and a written narrative task. Narratives were analyzed for productivity, complexity, and accuracy. DLL children performed comparably to monolingual children on productivity and complexity measures. However, they differed in measures of orthographic, lexical, and morphological accuracy. They also differed in vocabulary scores. When controlling for differences in vocabulary, no differences between the DLL and monolingual groups in accuracy were found. In addition, the DLL children used a greater proportion of literate language features in their texts than the monolinguals did. The results suggest that improving DLL children's vocabulary would improve their writing in multiple areas. The possibility of a DLL advantage in literate language is addressed in the context of the children's need to regularly switch between their home and school languages.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A