The Dimensionality of Oral Language in Kindergarten Spanish–English Dual Language Learners Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the latent dimensionality of language in dual language learners (DLLs) who spoke Spanish as their native language and were learning English as their second language. Method Participants included 259 Spanish–English DLLs attending kindergarten. In the spring of their kindergarten ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 08, 2018
The Dimensionality of Oral Language in Kindergarten Spanish–English Dual Language Learners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gloria Yeomans-Maldonado
    Crane Center For Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Alain Bengochea
    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Carol Mesa
    University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 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 Shelley Gray: Shelley.Gray@asu.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Jan de Jong
    Editor: Jan de Jong×
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 08, 2018
The Dimensionality of Oral Language in Kindergarten Spanish–English Dual Language Learners
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2018, Vol. 61, 2779-2795. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0320
History: Received August 26, 2017 , Revised February 26, 2018 , Accepted May 29, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2018, Vol. 61, 2779-2795. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0320
History: Received August 26, 2017; Revised February 26, 2018; Accepted May 29, 2018

Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the latent dimensionality of language in dual language learners (DLLs) who spoke Spanish as their native language and were learning English as their second language.

Method Participants included 259 Spanish–English DLLs attending kindergarten. In the spring of their kindergarten year, children completed vocabulary, grammar, listening comprehension, and higher level language measures (comprehension monitoring and inferencing) in Spanish and English.

Results Two models with similar fits best describe the data. The first was a bifactor model with a single general language factor “l,” plus 2 additional language factors, 1 for Spanish and 1 for English. The second model was a 4-factor model, 1 for English that included all English language measures and 3 additional factors that included Spanish vocabulary, Spanish grammar, and Spanish higher level language.

Conclusions These results indicate that a general language ability may underlie development in both Spanish and English. In contrast to a unidimensional structure found for monolingual English-speaking kindergarteners, oral language appears to be multidimensional in Spanish–English DLL kindergarteners, but multidimensionality is reflected in Spanish, not English.

Acknowledgments
This article was prepared by a Task Force of the Language and Reading Research Consortium (LARRC) consisting of Shelley Gray, Ann A. O'Connell, Maria Adelaida Restrepo, Gloria Yeomans-Maldonado, Alain Bengochea, Carol Mesa, and Shara Brinkley. LARRC project sites and investigators are as follows:
• The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH): Laura M. Justice (Site PI), Richard Lomax, Ann O'Connell, Stephen A. Petrill, Shayne B. Piasta.
• Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ): Shelley Gray (Site PI), Maria Adelaida Restrepo.
• Lancaster University (Lancaster, United Kingdom): Kate Cain (Site PI).
• University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS): Hugh Catts (Site PI; now at Florida State University), Mindy Bridges, Diane Nielsen.
• University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, NE): Tiffany Hogan (Site PI; now at MGH Institute of Health Professions), Jim Bovaird, J. J. Ron Nelson (LARRC co-investigator from 2010 to 2012).
This work was supported by Grant R305F100002 from the Institute of Education Sciences' Reading for Understanding Initiative, awarded to Laura Justice. We are deeply grateful to the numerous staff, research associates, school administrators, teachers, children, and families who participated. Key personnel at study sites include Garey Berry, Beau Bevens, Jennifer Bostic, Lori Chleborad, Dawn Davis, Michel Eltschinger, Tamarine Foreman, Rashaun Geter, Sara Gilliam, Miki Herman, Trudy Kuo, Gustavo Lujan, Denise Meyer, Maria Moratto, Marcie Mutters, Trevor Rey, and Stephanie Williams. The views presented in this work do not represent those of the federal government, nor do they endorse any products or findings presented herein.
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