Interpreting the Process of Becoming Biliterate
Understanding the process of how English learners learn to read in two languages has been a major challenge for reading teachers. Few studies have empirically tested theoretical models that explain the processes of becoming a proficient reader in two alphabetic languages, Spanish and English. This study used Pefertti's blueprint of the General Components of Beginning Reading to explain the relation between oral reading fluency and comprehension, two critical constructs of beginning reading. Participants were second grade Spanish-speaking students who were learning to read in Spanish and English. One of the major findings suggest that early and later skills in Spanish contribute 47 percent of the variance explained in English reading comprehension, indicating that a fluent reader in Spanish, has a higher probability of becoming a fluent reader in English than a less fluent reader in Spanish. Our analysis should be particularly interesting to researchers and educators who want to learn more about the practical implications of interpreting the reading process in Spanish and English using Perfetti's theoretical framework.
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