ERIC Number: EJ746184
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov
Reference Count: 44
Semilingualism Applied to the Literacy Behaviors of Spanish-Speaking Emerging Bilinguals: Bi-Illiteracy or Emerging Biliteracy?
Teachers College Record, v108 n11 p2329-2353 Nov 2006
Language differences in the United States are largely viewed as problems that schools must remedy. This paradigm has created the pervasive belief that Spanish is a root cause of underachievement for Spanish-speaking English language learners (ELLs). This article examines teacher beliefs systems with regard to the above paradigm. It also examines informal writing assessments as tools to evaluate children's bilingual writing development. Fourth- and fifth-grade students were given writing prompts in English and Spanish. Teachers at the school read and rated the samples. Findings indicated that children had strengths in writing, particularly in the area of complex ideas. In contrast, teachers' discussions focused on perceived weaknesses. Findings raise questions about using writing-sample data and teacher judgment to identify ELLs for special education.
Descriptors: Literacy, Spanish Speaking, Bilingualism, Underachievement, English (Second Language), Second Language Learning, Teacher Attitudes, Writing Evaluation, Grade 4, Grade 5, Special Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Grade 5
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States