Effects of a supplemental spanish oral language program on sentence length, complexity, and grammaticality in Spanish-speaking children attending English-only preschools

Maria Restrepo, Anny P. Castilla, Paula J. Schwanenflugel, Stacey Neuharth-Pritchett, Claire E. Hamilton, Alejandra Arboleda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a supplemental Spanish language instruction program for children who spoke Spanish as their native language and were attending English-only preschool programs. Specifically, the study evaluated the program's effects on the children's Spanish sentence length in words, subordination index, and grammaticality of sentences. Method: Forty-five Spanish-speaking children attending English-only prekindergarten classrooms were selected for study. Of those, 15 children received 30 min of Spanish instruction 5 days a week for 16 weeks. The program targeted 5-10 vocabulary words a week, dialogic book reading, phonemic awareness, and letter knowledge. The remaining 30 children participated in regular preschool English instruction. Students were evaluated before intervention, immediately after intervention, and 4 months following intervention. Results: Repeated measures analyses of variance indicated that the children who received the small-group supplemental Spanish language instruction made significant gains in their Spanish sentence length in words and subordination index when compared to those receiving regular English-only classroom instruction. There were no differences in the children's grammaticality of sentences. Discussion and Clinical Implications: The findings demonstrate that a daily short native language program has significant effects on sentence length in words and subordination index in English language learners who are attending English-only preschool programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalLanguage, speech, and hearing services in schools
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Keywords

  • Complexity
  • Grammaticality
  • Intervention
  • Sentence length
  • Spanish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of a supplemental spanish oral language program on sentence length, complexity, and grammaticality in Spanish-speaking children attending English-only preschools'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this