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ERIC Number: EJ1210814
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Apr
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0922-4777
Cross-Language Transfer of Reading Skills: An Empirical Investigation of Bidirectionality and the Influence of Instructional Environments
Kim, Young-Suk Grace; Piper, Benjamin
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, v32 n4 p839-871 Apr 2019
The linguistic interdependence hypothesis (Cummins, 1979, 2000) states that children's second-language (L2) proficiency is, to some extent, a function of their first-language (L1) competence. Previous studies have examined this hypothesis with focus on a unidirectional relation from L1 to L2. In the present study, we examined "bidirectional" influences of literacy skills in multilingual contexts, and whether the nature of relations varied as a function of literacy instruction environment. To do so, we used longitudinal data from a randomized controlled trial of a literacy intervention for children in Grades 1 and 2, learning to read in Kiswahili and English, two official languages in Kenya. Children in the treatment condition received explicit and systematic instruction on literacy (e.g., phonological awareness, phoneme-grapheme correspondences) in Kiswahili and English, whereas children in the control condition did not. Overall results supported bidirectionality of relations, such that children's literacy skills in the two languages were reciprocally related over time. However, directionality of relations differed as a function of language and literacy instruction condition, such that the relation from English to Kiswahili was found across intervention conditions, but the relation from Kiswahili to English was found only among children who had received explicit instruction in Kiswahili reading. These results are discussed in light of theory and practice for language and literacy acquisition in multilingual contexts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Grade 1; Primary Education; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: United States Agency for International Development, Academy for Educational Development
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kenya
Grant or Contract Numbers: AID623M1100001