Does Children’s Dual Language Learner Status and Their English Vocabulary Skills Moderate the Relationship Between Teachers’ Early Literacy Instructional Practices and Children’s English Early Literacy Outcomes?

Does Children’s Dual Language Learner Status and Their English Vocabulary Skills Moderate the Relationship Between Teachers’ Early Literacy Instructional Practices and Children’s English Early Literacy Outcomes?

First Author: Jin Hee Hur -- California State University, Bakersfield
Additional authors/chairs: 
Patricia Snyder; Corinne Huggins-Manley; Mary McLean; Linda Lombardino
Keywords: Early childhoos age 3-8, Early Literacy, English Language Learners (ELL), Language Development, second language learning
Abstract / Summary: 

Children who are DLLs in U.S. public schools have more difficulty mastering English early literacy skills than English monolingual peers of similar SES (Lonigan et al., 2013). To understand why it is difficult to master English early literacy skills, August et al. (2005) stressed exploring relationships between teachers’ early literacy instruction and English early literacy skills of preschool children who are DLLs and factors moderating the relationships. Secondary data analyses using the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2009 dataset were conducted (a) to explore if the relationship between frequency of code-related and oral language instruction, and quality of global instructional practices and children’s English early literacy outcomes was moderated by children’s DLL status and (b) to examine if the relationship between teachers’ instruction and children’s outcomes was moderated by English vocabulary skills for Spanish-speaking DLLs. We used path analyses to explore the moderating role of children’s DLL status and English vocabulary skills for Spanish-speaking DLLs. Relationships were not moderated by children’s DLL status. Among children who were Spanish-speaking DLLs, results showed (a) frequency of code-related instruction and children’s English vocabulary skills predicted children’s English code-related skills, and (b) frequency of code-related instruction and children’s English vocabulary skills predicted children’s English receptive vocabulary skills. For children who were Spanish-speaking DLLs, the associations between frequency of code-related instruction and children’s code-related and receptive vocabulary skills were stronger for children with higher versus lower English vocabulary skills. Findings suggest teachers should consider the English vocabulary skills that children who are Spanish-speaking DLLs bring to the instructional environment to support the differentiation of early literacy instruction in preschool settings.