Early Language and Literacy Development Among Young English Language Learners: Preliminary Insights from a Longitudinal Study

  • Hetty Roessingh
  • Susan Elgie

Abstract

This article reports on the preliminary findings of a two-staged empirical study aimed at gaining insights into the variables salient in the early language and literacy development of young English language learners (ELL). Increasingly, young ELL, whether foreign-born or Canadian-born, arrive at school with little developed English-language proficiency. They must acquire oral language and literacy synchronously. Stage one of this study consists of time series data for reading and vocabulary scores using the Gates MacGinitie reading tests. Stage two consists of an early literacy screen and vocabulary profiles generated from an oral storytelling task for 65 kindergarten-aged ELL and a comparison group of 25 native speakers of English (NS). The findings suggest that although reading and vocabulary are closely interrelated in the stages of early literacy development, over time ELL youngsters face the greatest learning challenges in the area of vocabulary development. Implications for the design of early literacy programs are offered
Published
2009-06-03
How to Cite
Roessingh, H., & Elgie, S. (2009). Early Language and Literacy Development Among Young English Language Learners: Preliminary Insights from a Longitudinal Study. TESL Canada Journal, 26(2), 24 - 45. https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v26i2.413
Section
Articles