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ERIC Number: EJ862595
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 72
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
Emergent Literacy Skills in Bilingual Children: Evidence for the Role of L1 Syntactic Comprehension
Gabriele, Alison; Troseth, Erika; Martohardjono, Gita; Otheguy, Ricardo
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v12 n5 p533-547 Sep 2009
The study examines emergent literacy skills in a group of young English Language Learners who are dominant in their native language, Spanish. We investigate the relative contribution of syntactic comprehension in the L1 and L2 to the development of emergent reading skills in English. Participants were bilingual kindergarteners from two public schools in New York City. Two main tests were administered: a test of syntactic comprehension, given in both Spanish and English, and a test of literacy skills, specifically listening comprehension in both the L1 and L2 are significant predictors of performance on L2 listening comprehension, with L1 syntactic comprehension shown to be the stronger predictor. These findings provide support for the position that L1 knowledge may be accessible to facilitate comprehension in the L2, particularly in cases in which the learners are dominant in the L1 (cf. Riches & Genesee, 2006). We interpret our results as evidence that there are benefits to supporting the development of the native language in the homes and classrooms of ELLs. (Contains 6 notes and 4 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York