Positive Parenting: Reading Spanish Can Help You Read in English
More than 12 million kids in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home, but how can learning to read first in their parents’ native language affect how they learn to read in English?
Researchers at the University of Delaware and North Carolina State University studied 312 kindergarteners and examined their early Spanish reading ability and their ability to understand English vocabulary words and follow English spoken directions at the start of kindergarten. They then measured their English reading ability every year until the fourth grade.
They found that children who had strong early reading skills in their native language when they entered kindergarten experienced greater growth in their ability to read English through the fourth grade.
This suggests that early Spanish literacy skills are strong predictors of later English reading skills and a reminder that reading to your child is important in any language.
Latino children from Spanish-speaking homes are the most rapidly expanding segment of the school-age population in the United States, making up nearly 78% of English learners enrolled in U.S. schools.