Authors: Hammer CS, Lawrence FR, Miccio AW
Title: Bilingual children’s language abilities and early reading outcomes in Head Start and kindergarten
Source: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 2007 38(3): 237-248
Year: 2007
Research Design: Case Series

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between Head Start children's receptive language development and their kindergarten reading outcomes. METHOD: Eighty-eight bilingual children who were eligible to attend Head Start for 2 years participated in the study. Growth curve models were used to examine the relationship between children's language abilities during 2 years in Head Start and end-of-kindergarten reading outcomes. RESULTS: The results revealed that children's English and Spanish receptive language abilities increased during Head Start, and children's early reading abilities in English were within the typical range of monolingual norms at the end of kindergarten. Children's early reading abilities in Spanish were nearly 1 SD below the test mean or lower. The results also showed that children's growth in their English and Spanish language abilities during Head Start predicted their early reading abilities in English and Spanish. IMPLICATIONS: The findings imply that preschool programs are needed that target children's growth in language and not their performance measured at a particular point in time. Also, the results demonstrate the importance of early and regular evaluation of bilingual children's development in both languages in order to monitor children's growth in their two languages.

Access: Paywall