Title

Spanish and English Early Literacy Profiles of Preschool Latino English Language Learner Children

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Research Findings: The purpose of this study was to examine within-group individual differences in the code-related and oral language abilities of an economically stressed Spanish-speaking English language learner (ELL) preschool sample and to evaluate the predictive relationship of these differences to later listening comprehension. Latent class analysis was used to identify similarities in both the latent and outcome variables to form classes of students with similar profiles on the measured variables. Our 1st finding confirmed the existence of 4 distinct psychometrically validated profiles: (a) Low English Language, Average Spanish Language, Mixed Spanish Code-Related (prevalence 19.4%); (b) Average English Language, Strengths in Spanish Language and Spanish Code-Related (24.2%); (c) Mixed English and Spanish Language, Low Spanish Code-Related (prevalence 34%); and (d) High English Language, Average Spanish Language, Mixed Spanish Code-Related (prevalence 22%). The resulting profiles demonstrated that English and Spanish code- and language-related domains of emergent literacy developed unevenly across the Spanish-speaking ELL preschoolers. Relative strengths and weaknesses in code- and language-related skills were also found to be meaningfully related to end-of-year listening comprehension—a precursor to reading comprehension. Finally, profiles yielded meaningful variability along sociodemographic variables. Practice or Policy: Implications, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.