Language-Independent and Language-Specific Aspects of Early Literacy

An Evaluation of the Common Underlying Proficiency Model

John M Goodrich, Christopher J. Lonigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

According to the common underlying proficiency model (Cummins, 1981), as children acquire academic knowledge and skills in their first language, they also acquire language-independent information about those skills that can be applied when learning a second language. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relevance of the common underlying proficiency model for the early literacy skills of Spanish-speaking language-minority children using confirmatory factor analysis. A total of 858 Spanish-speaking language-minority preschoolers (mean age = 60.83 months; 50.2% female) participated in this study. Results indicated that bifactor models that consisted of language-independent as well as language-specific early literacy factors provided the best fits to the data for children's phonological awareness and print knowledge skills. Correlated factors models that included skills specific to only Spanish and English provided the best fits to the data for children's oral language skills. Children's language-independent early literacy skills were significantly related across constructs and to language-specific aspects of early literacy. Language-specific aspects of early literacy skills were significantly related within but not across languages. These findings suggest that language-minority preschoolers have a common underlying proficiency for code-related skills but not language-related skills that may allow them to transfer knowledge across languages. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 6 2017

Fingerprint

Language
literacy
language
evaluation
Child Language
Literacy
minority
speaking
Statistical Factor Analysis
knowledge transfer
Learning
factor analysis

Keywords

  • Early literacy
  • Language-minority
  • Oral language
  • Phonological awareness
  • Print knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

@article{a075d24e4c434a09a5b4d7f82f20be95,
title = "Language-Independent and Language-Specific Aspects of Early Literacy: An Evaluation of the Common Underlying Proficiency Model",
abstract = "According to the common underlying proficiency model (Cummins, 1981), as children acquire academic knowledge and skills in their first language, they also acquire language-independent information about those skills that can be applied when learning a second language. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relevance of the common underlying proficiency model for the early literacy skills of Spanish-speaking language-minority children using confirmatory factor analysis. A total of 858 Spanish-speaking language-minority preschoolers (mean age = 60.83 months; 50.2{\%} female) participated in this study. Results indicated that bifactor models that consisted of language-independent as well as language-specific early literacy factors provided the best fits to the data for children's phonological awareness and print knowledge skills. Correlated factors models that included skills specific to only Spanish and English provided the best fits to the data for children's oral language skills. Children's language-independent early literacy skills were significantly related across constructs and to language-specific aspects of early literacy. Language-specific aspects of early literacy skills were significantly related within but not across languages. These findings suggest that language-minority preschoolers have a common underlying proficiency for code-related skills but not language-related skills that may allow them to transfer knowledge across languages. (PsycINFO Database Record",
keywords = "Early literacy, Language-minority, Oral language, Phonological awareness, Print knowledge",
author = "Goodrich, {John M} and Lonigan, {Christopher J.}",
year = "2017",
month = "2",
day = "6",
doi = "10.1037/edu0000179",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Journal of Educational Psychology",
issn = "0022-0663",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Language-Independent and Language-Specific Aspects of Early Literacy

T2 - An Evaluation of the Common Underlying Proficiency Model

AU - Goodrich, John M

AU - Lonigan, Christopher J.

PY - 2017/2/6

Y1 - 2017/2/6

N2 - According to the common underlying proficiency model (Cummins, 1981), as children acquire academic knowledge and skills in their first language, they also acquire language-independent information about those skills that can be applied when learning a second language. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relevance of the common underlying proficiency model for the early literacy skills of Spanish-speaking language-minority children using confirmatory factor analysis. A total of 858 Spanish-speaking language-minority preschoolers (mean age = 60.83 months; 50.2% female) participated in this study. Results indicated that bifactor models that consisted of language-independent as well as language-specific early literacy factors provided the best fits to the data for children's phonological awareness and print knowledge skills. Correlated factors models that included skills specific to only Spanish and English provided the best fits to the data for children's oral language skills. Children's language-independent early literacy skills were significantly related across constructs and to language-specific aspects of early literacy. Language-specific aspects of early literacy skills were significantly related within but not across languages. These findings suggest that language-minority preschoolers have a common underlying proficiency for code-related skills but not language-related skills that may allow them to transfer knowledge across languages. (PsycINFO Database Record

AB - According to the common underlying proficiency model (Cummins, 1981), as children acquire academic knowledge and skills in their first language, they also acquire language-independent information about those skills that can be applied when learning a second language. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relevance of the common underlying proficiency model for the early literacy skills of Spanish-speaking language-minority children using confirmatory factor analysis. A total of 858 Spanish-speaking language-minority preschoolers (mean age = 60.83 months; 50.2% female) participated in this study. Results indicated that bifactor models that consisted of language-independent as well as language-specific early literacy factors provided the best fits to the data for children's phonological awareness and print knowledge skills. Correlated factors models that included skills specific to only Spanish and English provided the best fits to the data for children's oral language skills. Children's language-independent early literacy skills were significantly related across constructs and to language-specific aspects of early literacy. Language-specific aspects of early literacy skills were significantly related within but not across languages. These findings suggest that language-minority preschoolers have a common underlying proficiency for code-related skills but not language-related skills that may allow them to transfer knowledge across languages. (PsycINFO Database Record

KW - Early literacy

KW - Language-minority

KW - Oral language

KW - Phonological awareness

KW - Print knowledge

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85011382814&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85011382814&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/edu0000179

DO - 10.1037/edu0000179

M3 - Article

JO - Journal of Educational Psychology

JF - Journal of Educational Psychology

SN - 0022-0663

ER -