Tres formas: Reading aloud with three types of Spanish and English dual-language learning preschoolers

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Taylor & Francis


Shared book reading has positive impacts on language development, yet how it is navigated with young dual-language learning (DLL) children is less well understood. This study explored differences in shared reading practices among families raising Spanish/English DLL children with a survey for primary caregivers (n = 96) of DLLs between 2–5 years old. Respondents self-reported their household primary language and were categorized into three groups: Spanish primary (SPL), English primary (EPL), or both languages primary (BPL). Respondents answered questions about their own language proficiency, their children’s exposure to English and Spanish, frequency of shared reading in each language, and parent and child language preferences and practices involving the use of both languages during reading. Results indicated that reported household primary language corresponded to language dominance reportedly experienced by the child, and shared reading frequency in each language is impacted by household primary language. Across primary language groups, there were not significant differences in the use of beneficial dialogic reading strategies. Additionally, caregivers’ reported practices around the use of both languages while reading were diverse within each group, and warrant further inquiry. These findings illustrate the importance of contextualizing DLL children’s home language environment in order to better understand their pre-literacy experiences.