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ERIC Number: EJ867862
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0039-8322
The Relationship between Cognate Awareness and English Comprehension among Spanish-English Bilingual Fourth Grade Students
Proctor, C. Patrick; Mo, Elaine
TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, v43 n1 p126-136 Mar 2009
This study was designed to investigate the effect of English reading comprehension on cognate knowledge among a sample of Spanish-speaking bilinguals alongside their monolingual English-speaking counterparts. In order to understand this developmental relationship, the effects of English reading comprehension were controlled in regression analyses, and the impact of language status (i.e., bilingual or monolingual) was assessed. The authors found a significant effect of bilingual status predicting cognate awareness. Bilingual students significantly outperformed their monolingual counterparts on the ratio of correct items that were represented by cognates. Current trends in research on bilingual populations, dating to Cummins's (1979, 1984) theories of a common underlying proficiency and L1 thresholds for adequate L2 acquisition argue strenuously that L1 literacy skills are important, if not crucial, in understanding variation in L2 comprehension outcomes. Almost paradoxically, however, research among adolescent and adult L2 learners, who are more likely to have well-developed L1 literacy skills than their younger counterparts, has focused on the role of improved L2 reading achievement as the key to fostering the cross-linguistic transfer for improved L2 literacy outcomes. Specifically, as L2 lexical and grammatical knowledge improve, adult L2 reading increasingly resembles the L1 reading process, and the reader is thus able to use comprehension strategies developed in the L1 to L2 reading. The results reported here are in line with this phenomenon. (Contains 4 tables and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A