Indexed on: 19 Dec '12Published on: 19 Dec '12Published in: Journal of School Psychology
This longitudinal study examined the effects of a paired bilingual program and an English-only reading program on English reading outcomes for Spanish-speaking English learners (ELs) in first, second, and third grades. Participants were 214 ELs enrolled in first grade in 12 high-poverty, low-achieving schools at the beginning of the study. Results of piecewise growth modeling analysis indicated that ELs in the paired bilingual group made more growth on oral reading fluency in English than ELs in the English-only group across all grades. Conversely, regression analysis revealed that the difference in reading comprehension outcomes between these two groups was not statistically significant in first and third grades, independent of risk category, whereas in second-grade, at-risk ELs in the paired bilingual group had statistically significant higher scores in reading comprehension than ELs in the English-only group (d = +0.51). In general, ELs at risk for reading difficulties appeared to benefit more from the paired bilingual program than ELs with moderate or low-risk for reading difficulties. Implications of findings to advance theory and practice on the most effective program to teach reading to ELs are discussed.