Home Literacy Experiences and Their Relationship to Bilingual Preschoolers’ Developing English Literacy Abilities An Initial Investigation Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   January 01, 2003
Home Literacy Experiences and Their Relationship to Bilingual Preschoolers’ Developing English Literacy Abilities
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carol Scheffner Hammer
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Adele W. Miccio
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • David A. Wagstaff
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Contact author: Carol Scheffner Hammer, Department of Communication Disorders, 110 Moore Building, University Park, PA 16802-3101.
    Contact author: Carol Scheffner Hammer, Department of Communication Disorders, 110 Moore Building, University Park, PA 16802-3101.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: cjh22@psu.edu
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Normal Language Processing / Clinical Forum: Literacy Issues in Multicultural Populations
Clinical Forum   |   January 01, 2003
Home Literacy Experiences and Their Relationship to Bilingual Preschoolers’ Developing English Literacy Abilities
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2003, Vol. 34, 20-30. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2003/003)
History: Received July 28, 2002 , Accepted November 5, 2002
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2003, Vol. 34, 20-30. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2003/003)
History: Received July 28, 2002; Accepted November 5, 2002

Purpose: This study investigated the relationship between home literacy experiences and bilingual preschoolers’ early literacy outcomes.

Method: Forty-three Puerto Rican mother-child dyads recruited from Head Start programs in central Pennsylvania participated in this study of home literacy experiences and emerging English literacy abilities. The dyads were grouped according to whether the children had learned Spanish and English from birth (simultaneously; n = 28) or Spanish from birth and English in Head Start (sequentially; n = 15). Mothers of simultaneous and sequential learners were compared on the value they placed on literacy, press for achievement, the number of reading materials that were available in the home, and how often they read to their child. The children were compared on their scores on the Test of Early Reading Ability-2 (Reid, Hresko, & Hammill, 1991), which was given during the first and second years of their Head Start program.

Results: Mothers of simultaneous and sequential learners differed with regard to mothers’ press for achievement. No differences were found between the two groups with respect to the other measures. When the early literacy abilities of the two groups of children were assessed, all learners had comparable mean emergent reading scores. The mean literacy scores of the entire group of children were significantly lower at Year 2 as compared to Year 1.

Clinical Implications: Although the children experienced literacy activities at home and in Head Start, it appears that children’s literacy development would benefit from increased exposure to literacy materials and literacy events during the preschool years.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This research was funded in part by Grant 1R01HD39496-02 from the National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and Grant DA 10075 from the National Institute of Drug and Alcohol. The authors wish to express thanks to the parents and children who participated in this investigation. In addition, the authors are grateful to the staff of the Head Start programs in central Pennsylvania who participated in the study, to the home visitors for their assistance with data collection, to Sandy Rosario for her coordination of the project, and to Jill Detwiler for her assistance with data analysis.
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