The Effect of Spanish and English Narrative Intervention on the Language Skills of Young Dual Language Learners
Standards of academic performance place a high demand on students’ English language. To help Spanish-speaking preschoolers who are developing English as a second language meet these demands, researchers recommend strengthening their first language to facilitate development of their second language. Head Start teachers and research assistants delivered 12 Spanish and 12 English language lessons to eight preschoolers in small groups. Lessons targeted storytelling and vocabulary and occurred 4 days a week for 20 min. A multiple-baseline experimental design across groups was used to examine the effect of the Spanish–English narrative intervention on children’s retelling skills and a pretest posttest design without a control group documented children’s acquisition of the target words. Results indicated that children made gains in English retelling while maintaining their already high Spanish retelling skills. Improvements in vocabulary were observed in English but not in Spanish.