Growth Trajectories of Grammatical Skills and Foundational Reading Skills in Spanish-English Dual Language Learners




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This manuscript-based dissertation encompasses three studies that examine the dynamic growth of language skills and foundational reading skills in Spanish-English Dual Language Learners (DLLs). The studies applied Dynamic Systems Theory, Growth Curve Modeling, and Language Sample Analysis to analyze grammatical skills in narrative retells of Spanish-English DLLs from preschool to early elementary grades as well as their relationship to foundational reading skills. Study 1 (Chapter 2) investigated different tense marking accuracy measures in the English narrative retells of DLLs throughout preschool. Study 2 (Chapter 3) examined the growth of Spanish article accuracy and its relation to English and Spanish proficiency. Study 3 (Chapter 4) analyzed the predictive relationship of growth in oral language skills in English (tense marking and vocabulary) and foundational reading skills in English. In sum, these three longitudinal studies provide information on typical growth trajectories of English (tense marking accuracy; vocabulary) and Spanish (article accuracy) as well as English foundational reading skills while characterizing differences in early oral language trajectories of DLLs at risk for low reading skills. Capturing early oral language trajectories may improve our understanding of the misidentification and academic achievement gap of DLLs.



Education, Bilingual, Language and languages--Study and teaching--Bilingual method, Conversation, Sample path analysis, Reading comprehension, Hybrid systems


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