Development of English Literacy in Spanish-Speaking Children Research Program

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FY 2002 Grant Awards

Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC
Principal Investigator: Dr. Diane August
Acquiring literacy in English: Cross-linguistic, intralinguistic, and development factors

This is a longitudinal study of children from Pre-K to Grade 2. The researchers are examining the effects of home environment factors (e.g., language use patterns and parental attitudes toward schooling and literacy skills development), and school environment factors (e.g., language context, such as Spanish only, English only, or bilingual; and teaching techniques) on literacy skills development. The research will result in more appropriate and effective ways to both predict and assess the literacy skills development of young Spanish-speaking children.

Grand Valley State University
Principal Investigator: Dr. Alexandra Gottardo
Longitudinal predictors of reading in Spanish-speaking children

This is a two-year study of two cohorts of Spanish-speaking children, one from first grade into second grade and one from kindergarten into first grade. The researchers will study predictors of English reading skill development through the use of measures of phonological awareness, rapid naming of objects and numbers, and letter naming, among other measures that provide insight into how children acquire (pre) reading skills.

Northwestern University
Principal Investigator: Dr. Marjorie Faulstich Orellana
Latino children as family translators: Links to literacy

This is a five-year project investigating Latino children in grades 5 and 6 who act as English translators for Spanish-speaking family members. Researchers will explore how this activity relates to the literacy development of the children.

Pennsylvania State University
Principal Investigator: Dr. Carol Hammer
Bilingual preschoolers: Precursors to literacy

This is a longitudinal study of the language acquisition, literacy development, and home environment of 100 Head Start children of Puerto Rican descent from ages 4-6 years: 50 acquiring Spanish and English sequentially and 50 acquiring the two languages simultaneously. The project will identify patterns of dual language acquisition and identify specific factors that can be used to target interventions for children at risk for difficulties in developing literacy skills.

University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Principal Investigator: Dr. Franklin Manis
Predicting English literacy in Spanish-speaking children

This is a two-year study following up on English monolingual and Spanish bilingual children during 2nd and 3rd grades to determine whether predictors of reading and writing in English are the same for both types of children.

University of Houston, Texas
Principal Investigator: Dr. David Francis
Oracy/literacy development in Spanish-speaking children

This is a four-year longitudinal study of 1,440 children in K- Grade 3, in urban California, urban Texas, and in border Texas. The primary focus of this project is on the programmatic conditions under which English-language reading and writing skills are developed most effectively and efficiently. It also includes an intensive investigation of the home and community factors that influence the acquisition of literacy skills.

University of Houston, Texas
Principal Investigator: Dr. David Francis
Biological and behavioral variation in the language development of Spanish-speaking children

This four-year grant enhances the previous award to the University of Houston (see above) by providing an expanded assessment of the language functioning of the project participants. The investigators will examine the biological and behavioral variation in the language development of Spanish-speaking children, employing state-of-the-art language analysis procedures and computer software programs, including Magnetoencephalography (MEG) techniques to quantify changes in neural activation associated with children's development in Spanish and English.

Utah State University, Logan
Principal Investigator: Dr. Mark Innocenti
Bilingual Early Language and Literacy Support (BELLS)

This is a five-year multi-site, longitudinal study that will test the language and emergent literacy outcomes of 192 Spanish-speaking mother-child dyads in Utah. The pairs will be followed beginning at ages 1, 2, or 3, and will be followed until entry into kindergarten, using a rich set of outcome measures to determine the effects of early immersion in English language usage, home environment, and specific emergent literacy interventions on literacy.

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Last Modified: 06/24/2005