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Keywords

bilingual children, first grade, language assessments, Spanish-speaking, word reading skills

 

Authors

  1. Paez, Mariela
  2. Rinaldi, Claudia

Abstract

This article describes the word reading skills in English and Spanish for a sample of 244 Spanish-speaking, English-learning (hence, bilingual) students in first grade and presents a predictive model for English word reading skills. The children in the study were assessed at the end of kindergarten and first grade, respectively. Data were gathered with 3 subtests of the Woodcock Language Proficiency Battery and a researcher-developed phonological awareness task. Results showed that, on average, children's English word reading skills were similar to monolingual norms whereas their Spanish word reading skills averaged 1 SD below the mean. English vocabulary, English phonological awareness, and Spanish word reading skills in kindergarten were found to be significant predictors of English word reading skills in first grade. Educational implications for screening language and reading skills and promising areas for targeted instruction for this population are discussed.