Home literacy environment of Latino preschoolers and bilingual oral language development

Sarah Littman Olitzky, Fordham University

Abstract

The present study sought to explore the home literacy environments (HLEs) of low-income Latino preschoolers and examined the relationship between HLE and bilingual oral language development. Specifically, two facets of the HLE were examined: literacy opportunity and socioemotional quality. Participants included 79 mother-child dyads enrolled in New York City Head Start programs. Mothers all self identified as Dominican or Mexican.^ A multi-informant, multi-method approach to data collection was employed. Within the context of a larger assessment battery, mother child dyads were administered a demographic form, Home Literacy Environment Questionnaire (HLEQ), and measures of child IQ and bilingual receptive language development. In addition, mothers and children were observed during a series of behavioral observations which included a shared reading interaction. Video tapes were coded for socioemotional quality of exchanges. ^ A series of descriptive statistics were performed to describe the following literacy opportunity variables: Frequency with which mothers read to their children, frequency of children's television program watching, number of books in the home, age at which shared reading began and whether or not the child had visited a library or bookstore within the past month. The relationship between HLE and bilingual oral language development was examined through a hierarchical regression model with two predictor variables: literacy opportunity and socioemotional quality. Child IQ was controlled for as a covariate.^ Results of the hierarchical regression found no significant predictive relationship between HLE and bilingual oral language development. This differs from previous studies conducted with non minority populations. While further research is necessary, results suggest that the traditional HLE model may not apply to culturally diverse populations and may not account for unique characteristics of the bilingual language learner. Future research should seek to develop culturally specific HLE models in an effort to inform family literacy interventions. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Developmental|Hispanic American Studies

Recommended Citation

Sarah Littman Olitzky, "Home literacy environment of Latino preschoolers and bilingual oral language development" (January 1, 2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3452795.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3452795

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