Advertisement

English phonological specificity predicts early French reading difficulty in emerging bilingual children

  • Klaudia KrencaEmail author
  • Alexandra Gottardo
  • Esther Geva
  • Xi Chen
Article

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the predictive value of a dynamic test of English and French lexical specificity on at-risk reading classification in 13 at-risk and 44 not at-risk emerging English (L1)–French (L2) bilingual Grade 1 children (M = 75.87 months, SD = 3.18) enrolled in an early French immersion program in Canada. Lexical specificity was assessed with a computerized word learning game in which children were taught new English (e.g., “foal” and “sole”) and French (e.g., bac “bin” and bague “ring”) word pairs contrasted by minimal phonological differences. The results indicated that the dynamic test of lexical specificity in English contributed significantly to the prediction of children’s French at-risk reading status at the end of Grade 1 after controlling for French phonological awareness and nonverbal reasoning skills. However, French lexical specificity did not predict children’s reading risk classification in French after controlling for French phonological awareness. Thus, it may be feasible to identify at-risk status in emerging bilinguals using dynamic measures in their stronger language.

Keywords

Dynamic assessment Early identification French immersion Lexical specificity Linguistic transfer Phonological awareness Reading disabilities 

Notes

Acknowledgments

A special thanks to Dr. Jeffrey Steele, Dr. Eliane Segers, Dr. Ludo Verhoeven, Sharry Shakory, and Alexandra Bellissimo for their invaluable guidance and support throughout the project. This research would not have been possible without the support of the teachers, parents, and children at our partner schools, in addition to all of the research assistants of the Multilingualism and Literacy Lab.

Funding information

This research was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant No. 430-2015-00786 (to X.C.).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Au-Yeung, K., Hipfner-Boucher, K., Chen, X., Pasquarella, A., D'Angelo, N., & Deacon, H. (2015). Development of English and French language and literacy skills in EL1 and EL French immersion students in the early grades. Reading Research Quarterly, 50, 233–254.  https://doi.org/10.1002/rrq.95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bridges, M. S., & Catts, H. W. (2011). The use of a dynamic screening of phonological awareness to predict risk for reading disabilities in kindergarten children. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44, 330–338.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219411407863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Caffrey, E., Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L. S. (2008). The predictive validity of dynamic assessment: A review. The Journal of Special Education, 41, 254–270.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022466907310366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Catts, H. W., Petscher, Y., Schatschneider, C., Bridges, M. S., & Mendoza, K. (2009). Floor effects associated with universal screening and their impact on the early identification of reading disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42, 163–176.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219408326219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Catts, H., Nielsen, D., Bridges, M., Liu, Y., & Bontempo, D. (2015). Early identification of reading disabilities within an RTI framework. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48, 281–297.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219413498115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cheung, A., & Slavin, R. (2013). Effects of educational technology applications on reading outcomes for struggling readers: A best-evidence synthesis. Reading Research Quarterly, 48(3), 277–299 Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/43497623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cho, E., Compton, D. L., Gilbert, J. K., Steacy, L. M., Collins, A. A., & Lindström, E. R. (2017). Development of first-graders’ word reading skills: For whom can dynamic assessment tell us more? Journal of Learning Disabilities, 50, 95–112.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219415599343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chung, S. C., Chen, X., & Deacon, S. H. (2017). The relation between orthographic processing and spelling in grade 1 French immersion children. Journal of Research in Reading, 41, 290–311.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9817.12104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chung, S. C., Chen, X., & Geva, E. (2018). Deconstructing and reconstructing cross-language transfer in bilingual reading development: An interactive framework. Journal of Neurolinguistics.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroling.2018.01.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Comeau, L., Cormier, P., Grandmaison, É., & Lacroix, D. (1999). A longitudinal study of phonological processing skills in children learning to read in a second language. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 29–43.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.91.1.29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Compton, D. L., Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., & Bryant, J. D. (2006). Selecting at-risk readers in first grade for early intervention: A two-year longitudinal study of decision rules and procedures. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 394–409.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.98.2.394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cummins, J. (1979). Linguistic interdependence and the educational development of bilingual children. Review of Educational Research, 49, 222–251.  https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543049002222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cummins, J. (1981). The role of primary language development in promoting educational success for language minority students. In California State Department of Education (Ed.), Schooling and language minority students: A theoretical framework (pp. 3–49). Los Angeles: National Dissemination and Assessment Center.Google Scholar
  14. DeLong, E. R., DeLong, D. M., & Clarke-Pearson, D. L. (1988). Comparing the areas under two or more correlated receiver operating characteristic curves: A nonparametric approach. Biometrics, 837–845.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2531595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. E-Prime (2012) (Version 2.0) [Computer software]. Pittsburgh, PA: Psychology software tools.Google Scholar
  16. Fuchs, D., Compton, D. L., Fuchs, L. S., Bouton, B., & Caffrey, E. (2011). The construct and predictive validity of a dynamic assessment of young children learning to read: Implications for RTI frameworks. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44, 339–347.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219411407864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gellert, A. S., & Elbro, C. (2017). Does a dynamic test of phonological awareness predict early reading difficulties?: A longitudinal study from kindergarten through grade 1. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 50, 227–237.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219415609185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gellert, A. S., & Elbro, C. (2018). Predicting reading disabilities using dynamic assessment of decoding before and after the onset of reading instruction: A longitudinal study from kindergarten through grade 2. Annals of Dyslexia, 68, 126–144.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11881-018-0159-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Genesee, F. (2007). French immersion and at-risk students: A review of research evidence. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 63(5), 655–687.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Geva, E., & Ryan, E. B. (1993). Linguistic and cognitive correlates of academic skills in first and second languages. Language Learning, 43, 5–42.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1993.tb00171.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Geva, E., Yaghoub-Zadeh, Z., & Schuster, B. (2000). Understanding individual differences in word recognition skills and ESL children. Annals of Dyslexia, 50, 123–154 Retrieved from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11881-000-0020-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Geva, E., & Massey-Garrison, A. (2013). A comparison of the language skills of ELLs and monolinguals who are poor decoders, poor comprehenders, or normal readers. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 46, 387–401.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219412466651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gottardo, A., Collins, P., Baciu, I., & Gebotys, R. (2008). Predictors of grade 2 word reading, listening comprehension and reading comprehension from grade 1 variables in Spanish-speaking children: Similarities and differences. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 23, 11–24.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5826.2007.00259.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grigorenko, E. L., & Sternberg, R. J. (1998). Dynamic testing. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 75–111.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.124.1.75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hulme, C. (2002). Phonemes, rimes, and the mechanisms of early reading development. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 82, 58–64.  https://doi.org/10.1006/jecp.2002.2674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jared, D., Cormier, P., Levy, B. A., & Wade-Woolley, L. (2013). Discrimination of English and French orthographic patterns by biliterate children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 114, 469–488.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2012.11.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Janssen, C., Segers, E., McQueen, J. M., & Verhoeven, L. (2015). Lexical specificity training effects in second language learners. Language Learning, 65, 358–389.  https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Janssen, C., Segers, E., McQueen, J. M., & Verhoeven, L. (2017). Transfer from implicit to explicit phonological abilities in first and second language learners. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 20, 795–812.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728916000523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Johnson, R. K., & Swain, M. (Eds.). (1997). Immersion education: International perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Koda, K. (2008). Impacts of prior literacy experience on second language learning to read. In K. Koda & A. M. Zehler (Eds.), Learning to read across languages: Cross-linguistic relationships in first- and second-language literacy development (pp. 68–96). New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Krenca, K., Segers, E., Chen, X., Shakory, S., Steele, J., & Verhoeven, L. (2019). Phonological specificity relates to phonological awareness and reading ability in English-French bilingual children. Reading and Writing an Interdisciplinary Journal 1–25.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-019-09959-2
  32. Kuo, L., & Anderson, R. C. (2010). Beyond cross-language transfer: Reconceptualizing the impact of early bilingualism on phonological awareness. Scientific Studies of Reading, 14(4), 365–385.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10888431003623470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lidz, C. S. (1997). Dynamic assessment: Psychoeducational assessment with cultural sensitivity. Journal of Social Distress and Homeless, 6, 95–111.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02938530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lidz, C. S., & Elliott, J. (Eds.). (2000). Dynamic assessment: Prevailing models and applications. New York: Jai.Google Scholar
  35. Lovett, M. W., Palma, M. D., Frijters, J., Steinbach, K., Temple, M., Benson, N., & Lacerenza, L. (2008). Interventions for reading difficulties: A comparison of response to intervention by ELL and EFL struggling readers. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41, 333–352.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219408317859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lu, Y. Y., & Hu, C. F. (2018). Dynamic assessment of phonological awareness in young foreign language learners: Predictability and modifiability. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 1–18 Retrieved from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11145-018-9894-x.
  37. MacCoubrey, S., Wade-Woolley, L., Klinger, D., & Kirby, J. (2004). Early identification of at- risk L2 readers. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 61, 11–29.  https://doi.org/10.1353/cml.2004.0004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Manis, F. R., & Lindsey, K. A. (2010). Cognitive and oral language contributors to reading disabilities in Spanish-English bilinguals. In A. Y. Durgunoglu & C. Goldenberg (Eds.), Language and literacy development in bilingual settings.Google Scholar
  39. Melby-Lervåg, M., Lyster, S. H., Hulme, C., Melby-Lervåg, M., Lyster, S. H., & Hulme, C. (2012). Phonological skills and their role in learning to read: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 138, 322–352.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Metsala, J. L., & Walley, A. C. (1998). Spoken vocabulary growth and the segmental restructuring of lexical representations: Precursors to phonemic awareness and early reading ability. In J. L. Metsala & L. C. Ehri (Eds.), Word recognition in beginning literacy (pp. 89–120). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  41. Naglieri, J. A. (1985). Matrix Analogies Test—Short Form. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  42. Obadia, A. A., & Thériault, C. M. L. (1995). Attrition in French immersion programs: Possible solutions. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 53, 506–529 Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED400674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. O'Connor, R. E., & Jenkins, J. R. (1999). Prediction of reading disabilities in kindergarten and first grade. Scientific Studies of Reading, 3, 159–197.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s1532799xssr0302_4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ortéga, É., & Lété, B. (2010). eManulex: Electronic version of Manulex and Manulex-infra databases. Retrieved from http://www.manulex.org
  45. Paradis, J., Emmerzael, K., & Duncan, T. S. (2010). Assessment of English language learners: Using parent report on first language development. Journal of Communication Disorders, 43, 474–497.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcomdis.2010.01.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pasquarella, A., Chen, X., Lam, K., Luo, Y. C., & Ramirez, G. (2011). Cross-language transfer of morphological awareness in Chinese–English bilinguals. Journal of Research in Reading, 34(1), 23–42.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9817.2010.01484.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Petersen, D., & Gillam, R. (2015). Predicting reading ability for bilingual Latino children using dynamic assessment. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48(1), 3–21.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219413486930.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Petersen, D. B., Allen, M. M., & Spencer, T. D. (2016). Predicting reading difficulty in first grade using dynamic assessment of decoding in early kindergarten: A large-scale longitudinal study. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 49, 200–215.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219414538518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Petersen, D. B., Gragg, S. L., & Spencer, T. D. (2018). Predicting reading problems 6 years into the future: Dynamic assessment reduces bias and increases classification accuracy. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49(4), 875–888.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Seymour, P. H., Aro, M., & Erskine, J. M. (2003). Foundation literacy acquisition in European orthographies. British Journal of Psychology, 94(Pt 2), 143–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Speece, D. L., & Case, L. P. (2001). Classification in context: An alternative approach to identifying early reading disability. Journal of Educational Psychology93(4), 735–749.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.93.4.735 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  53. Torgesen, J. K., Wagner, R. K., & Rashotte, C. A. (1999). Test of word reading efficiency. Austin: PRO-ED Publishing, Inc..Google Scholar
  54. Tzuriel, D. (2001). Dynamic assessment of young children. In Dynamic assessment of young children (pp. 63–75). Boston: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Van Goch, M. M., McQueen, J. M., & Verhoeven, L. (2014). Learning phonologically specific new words fosters rhyme awareness in Dutch preliterate children. Scientific Studies of Reading, 18, 155–172.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10888438.2013.827199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Wagner, R. K., Torgesen, J. K., Rashotte, C. A., & Pearson, N. A. (2013). CTOPP-2: Comprehensive test of phonological processing (2nd ed.). Austin: PRO-ED.Google Scholar
  58. Wilson, M. (1988). The MRC psycholinguistic database: Machine usable dictionary, Version 2.00. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 20, 6–10.  https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03202594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wise, N., D’Angelo, N., & Chen, X. (2016). A school-based phonological awareness intervention for struggling readers in early French immersion. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 29, 183–205 Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1089591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Woodcock, R. W., McGrew, K. S., & Mather, N. (2001). Woodcock-Johnson tests of achievement. Itasca: Riverside Publishing.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The International Dyslexia Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada

Personalised recommendations