Do Spanish and English core academic language skills (CALS) contribute to English reading comprehension? That was the question this study investigated using Spanish-English dual language learners in Grades 4 and 5 (n = 165) as the subjects. The researchers focused on cross-disciplinary CALS, operationalized as sets of high-utility lexical, syntactic and discourse resources prevalent in school texts. The study found that Spanish and English CALS are positively and significantly related, and both have a unique and positive influence on English reading comprehension. The study suggests a linguistic interdependence between Spanish and English academic language skills for students enrolled in educational programs that regularly teach literacy and content knowledge in Spanish and English.
Dual Language Programs