Language and Literacy Practices that Influence Bilingual and Bi-Literate Acquisition in L1 Kannada and L2 English in Bangalore, India

  • Sunaina ShenoyEmail author
  • Richard K. Wagner
Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 17)


This study was conducted in Bangalore, India, to measure the influence of language and literacy practices on students’ bilingual and bi-literate competencies in L1 Kannada and L2 English. Shenoy S (Psychol Stud 61(3):126–136, 2016) modified the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF5) screening tool in English and Kannada to provide teachers with an opportunity to better understand the language profiles of their students. Based on this screening tool, more than 50% of the students from a low-income school were identified as being below criterion on both their L1 and L2, compared to 13% of students from a high-income school. To identify the language and literacy practices that could account for bilingual test scores, informal measures were developed to collect data from parents and teachers. Ninety-three parents completed a questionnaire on language and literacy practices at home, and regression analyses depicted that students’ dominant home language explained their bilingual test scores in both low-SES and high-SES schools. Ten teachers were interviewed, and qualitative analyses depicted that teachers from low-income schools code-switched between English and Kannada approximately 50% of the time compared to teachers from high-income schools, who followed a 100% English-immersion model.


Bangalore Bilingualism Bi-literacy English immersion Home language L2 English L1 Kannada Socio-economic status 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Florida Center for Reading ResearchFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Special EducationUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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