Bilingual Student Success

Bilingual Student Success

The Success of Reading Recovery for English Language Learners and Descubriendo la Lectura for Bilingual Students in California

Neal, J. C., & Kelly, P. R. (1999). Literacy Teaching and Learning: An International Journal of Early Reading and Writing, 4(2), 81-108.

The purpose of the study by Neal and Kelly was to determine if Reading Recovery and Descubriendo la Lectura interventions resulted in reading and writing success for two groups of bilingual children: (a) English language learners receiving Reading Recovery instruction (first-grade children acquiring English as a second language concomitantly with developing literacy in English through instruction provided in English-speaking classrooms), and (b) Spanish-speaking children receiving the Descubriendo la Lectura intervention who were in first-grade bilingual classrooms that provided language instruction.

Pretest and posttest data for the two target populations of first-grade children in California were compared with data for the total English-speaking population of children in Reading Recovery in California for three academic years, 1993-1996, and with end-of-year data from random samples of first-grade children.

Results of the study indicate that statistically significant progress was made by both target populations of children, indicating that the interventions enabled low-performing English language learners and Spanish-speaking children to improve their performance on selected indicators of literacy acquisition. The proportion of these children’s success rates compared favorably with that of the total population involved in the interventions, and they achieved scores within the average range of a cohort of their peers drawn from a random sample of first graders.

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