Chapter published in:Bilingual Cognition and Language: The state of the science across its subfields
Edited by David Miller, Fatih Bayram, Jason Rothman and Ludovica Serratrice
[Studies in Bilingualism 54] 2018
► pp. 155–182
Literacy development in linguistically diverse pupils
In this chapter the literacy skills (reading accuracy and comprehension and writing) of minority language learners is in focus. The chapter provides a selective review of some of the theoretical and empirical research which has investigated how minority language learners develop reading and writing skills in their majority language. The chapter begins with a discussion of who minority language learners are and why we should be concerned about their literacy development. A section on the development of reading ensues which presents the Simple View of Reading as a theoretical basis and identifies that minority language learners tend not to have difficulties with decoding aspects of reading, but do tend to have problems with reading comprehension skills, argued to stem from less well-developed vocabulary knowledge. Research examining the development of writing in minority language learners is discussed, again presenting a theoretical framework (Simple View of Writing) and illustrating that as with reading, minority language learners tend not to have difficulties with lower-level features of writing (such as transcription and spelling) but do have difficulties with higher-order features (such as organisation of ideas). Educational implications of this work are examined highlighting the need for theoretically motivated educational interventions across a wider range of contexts than is currently available. The effectiveness of different bilingual education programmes is briefly examined, which supports the development of the home language knowledge in minority language learners. Developing home language proficiency and literacy skills enables the opportunity for students to draw upon their L1 which in turn supports the development of their L2 literacy skills. Linguistic diversity is the global norm, and increasingly children are being educated through the medium of a majority language which is not their home language. More work across different contexts is needed in order to better understand, and support, literacy and academic achievement in linguistically diverse pupils.
Published online: 08 March 2018
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Cited by 1 other publications
Howard, Katie B., Napoleon Katsos & Jenny L. Gibson
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