Relations Among Children's Use of Dialect and Literacy Skills: A Meta-Analysis Purpose The current meta-analysis examines recent empirical research studies that have investigated relations among dialect use and the development and achievement of reading, spelling, and writing skills. Method Studies published between 1998 and 2014 were selected if they: (a) included participants who were in Grades K–6 and were ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2015
Relations Among Children's Use of Dialect and Literacy Skills: A Meta-Analysis
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Brandy Gatlin
    Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Jeanne Wanzek
    Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Brandy Gatlin: bgatlin@fcrr.org
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Margarita Kaushanskaya
    Associate Editor: Margarita Kaushanskaya×
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Normal Language Processing / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2015
Relations Among Children's Use of Dialect and Literacy Skills: A Meta-Analysis
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2015, Vol. 58, 1306-1318. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0311
History: Received November 4, 2014 , Revised March 19, 2015 , Accepted June 11, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2015, Vol. 58, 1306-1318. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0311
History: Received November 4, 2014; Revised March 19, 2015; Accepted June 11, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The current meta-analysis examines recent empirical research studies that have investigated relations among dialect use and the development and achievement of reading, spelling, and writing skills.

Method Studies published between 1998 and 2014 were selected if they: (a) included participants who were in Grades K–6 and were typically developing native English speakers, (b) examined a concurrent quantitative relationship between dialect use and literacy, including reading, spelling, or writing measures, and (c) contained sufficient information to calculate effect size estimates.

Results Upon the removal of one study that was found to be an outlier, the full sample included 19 studies consisting of 1,947 participants, of which the majority (70%) were African American. The results showed a negative and moderate relationship between dialect use and overall literacy performance (M effect size = −0.33) and for dialect and reading (M effect size = −0.32). For spelling and writing, the relationship was negative and small (M effect size = −0.22). Moderator analyses revealed that socioeconomic status and grade level were not significant predictors for relations among dialect use and literacy skills.

Conclusions Implications for practice and future research, including analyzing dialect use in a variety of contexts and examining these relations to literacy outcomes, are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by a Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Grant (R305B04074) from the Institute of Education Sciences, awarded to Florida State University, and a Multidisciplinary Learning Disabilities Center Grant (P50HD052120) from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, awarded to Florida State University. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Institute of Education Sciences, National Institutes of Health, or the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
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