Effects of a Supplemental Spanish Oral Language Program on Sentence Length, Complexity, and Grammaticality in Spanish-Speaking Children Attending English-Only Preschools Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a supplemental Spanish language instruction program for children who spoke Spanish as their native language and were attending English-only preschool programs. Specifically, the study evaluated the program’s effects on the children’s Spanish sentence length in words, subordination index, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2010
Effects of a Supplemental Spanish Oral Language Program on Sentence Length, Complexity, and Grammaticality in Spanish-Speaking Children Attending English-Only Preschools
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • M. Adelaida Restrepo
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Anny P. Castilla
    State University of New York, Fredonia
  • Paula J. Schwanenflugel
    University of Georgia, Athens
  • Stacey Neuharth-Pritchett
    University of Georgia, Athens
  • Claire E. Hamilton
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Alejandra Arboleda
    Instituto Neurológico de Antioquia, Colombia, South America
  • Contact author: María Adelaida Restrepo, Arizona State University, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, P.O. Box 870102, Tempe AZ 85287-0102. E-mail: laida.restrepo@asu.edu.
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2010
Effects of a Supplemental Spanish Oral Language Program on Sentence Length, Complexity, and Grammaticality in Spanish-Speaking Children Attending English-Only Preschools
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2010, Vol. 41, 3-13. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/06-0017)
History: Received March 10, 2006 , Revised May 7, 2007 , Accepted December 9, 2008
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2010, Vol. 41, 3-13. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/06-0017)
History: Received March 10, 2006; Revised May 7, 2007; Accepted December 9, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 16

Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a supplemental Spanish language instruction program for children who spoke Spanish as their native language and were attending English-only preschool programs. Specifically, the study evaluated the program’s effects on the children’s Spanish sentence length in words, subordination index, and grammaticality of sentences.

Method Forty-five Spanish-speaking children attending English-only prekindergarten classrooms were selected for study. Of those, 15 children received 30 min of Spanish instruction 5 days a week for 16 weeks. The program targeted 5–10 vocabulary words a week, dialogic book reading, phonemic awareness, and letter knowledge. The remaining 30 children participated in regular preschool English instruction. Students were evaluated before intervention, immediately after intervention, and 4 months following intervention.

Results Repeated measures analyses of variance indicated that the children who received the small-group supplemental Spanish language instruction made significant gains in their Spanish sentence length in words and subordination index when compared to those receiving regular English-only classroom instruction. There were no differences in the children’s grammaticality of sentences.

Discussion and Clinical Implications The findings demonstrate that a daily short native language program has significant effects on sentence length in words and subordination index in English language learners who are attending English-only preschool programs.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This research was funded through a grant by the U.S. Department of Education—Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Award S349A010167.
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