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Linguistic, reading, and transcription influences on kindergarten writing in children with English as a second language

Author(s): Gina L. Harrison, Keira C. Ogle & Megan Keilty

Journal: Journal of Writing Research
ISSN 2030-1006

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 61;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: L2 kindergarten writing | predictors of early writing | cognitive and linguistic processes | second language learners

The contribution of linguistic, reading, and transcription processes to writing in kindergarten English as a second language (ESL) children and their native-English speaking peers (EL1) were examined. ESL and EL1 performed similarly on one of the two measures of phonological awareness (PA) and on measures of early reading, spelling, and writing. EL1 outperformed ESL on a pseudoword repetition task and on the English vocabulary and syntactic knowledge tasks. ESL outperformed EL1 on a writing fluency measure. Correlation and hierarchical regression results varied as a function of the writing tasks (procedural or generative) and language status. Across language groups, writing tasks that captured children's developing graphophonemic knowledge were associated with a breadth of cognitive, linguistic, and early literacy skills. PA, reading, and transcription skills, but not oral vocabulary and syntactic knowledge contributed the most variance to writing irrespective of language status. The results suggest that parallel component skills and processes underlie ESL and EL1 children's early writing when formal literacy instruction begins in kindergarten even though ESL children are developing English oral and literacy proficiency simultaneously.
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