The Impact of Individual Differences on a Bilingual Vocabulary Approach for Latino Preschoolers Purpose The purpose of this study was twofold: First, we replicated in a new sample our previous findings that a culturally and linguistically responsive (CLR) bilingual approach for English vocabulary instruction for preschool Latino dual language learners was effective. Subsequently, we investigated whether the positive effect of CLR instruction varies ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 17, 2018
The Impact of Individual Differences on a Bilingual Vocabulary Approach for Latino Preschoolers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lucía I. Méndez
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
  • Elizabeth R. Crais
    Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Kirsten Kainz
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 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 Lucía Méndez: mendezl@ecu.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Jan de Jong
    Editor: Jan de Jong×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 17, 2018
The Impact of Individual Differences on a Bilingual Vocabulary Approach for Latino Preschoolers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2018, Vol. 61, 897-909. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0186
History: Received May 17, 2017 , Revised September 6, 2017 , Accepted December 29, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2018, Vol. 61, 897-909. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0186
History: Received May 17, 2017; Revised September 6, 2017; Accepted December 29, 2017

Purpose The purpose of this study was twofold: First, we replicated in a new sample our previous findings that a culturally and linguistically responsive (CLR) bilingual approach for English vocabulary instruction for preschool Latino dual language learners was effective. Subsequently, we investigated whether the positive effect of CLR instruction varies as a function of individual child characteristics, including baseline vocabulary levels and gender.

Method Using a randomized pretest–posttest follow-up group design, we first replicated our previous study (N = 42) with a new sample by randomly assigning 35 Spanish-speaking Latino preschoolers to a CLR bilingual group or an English-only group. The preschoolers received small-group evidence-informed shared readings targeting 30 English words 3 times a week for 5 weeks in their preschools. Vocabulary outcomes were measured using both standardized and researcher-developed measures. We subsequently conducted further studies with the combined sample size of 77 children to examine the variability in intervention effects related to child gender and baseline vocabulary levels.

Results The direct replication study confirmed findings of our earlier work suggesting that the CLR bilingual approach promoted greater gains in L1 and L2 vocabulary than in an English-only approach. The extension studies revealed that the effect of the CLR bilingual vocabulary approach on English and Spanish vocabulary outcomes was not impacted by gender or vocabulary status at baseline.

Conclusion This study provides additional evidence of the benefits of strategically combining L1 and L2 for vocabulary instruction over an English-only approach. Our findings also suggest that preschool Latino dual language learners can benefit from a bilingual vocabulary instructional approach regardless of gender or baseline vocabulary levels in L1.

Acknowledgments
This research was partially supported by Head Start Research Grant 90YR005001 to the first author from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We appreciate the generous Head Start support and thank the children and staff of the Head Start preschool sites who made this study possible.
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