Code switching and reading achievement of first grade bilingual students
Lara, Susan Martin
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Code switching and its effect on reading achievements scores of young bilingual children is examined through a serious of language interviews and standardized tests. Code switching is defined as the alternation between two languages and reading achievement is defined by scores on standard achievement tests and informal reading inventories. Forty-two first grade children who were enrolled in a bilingual program in a town in rural West Texas were chosen as subjects for the study. A quasi study design was employed which utilized all of the first grade children currently enrolled in the bilingual program of the school district. A Pearson correlation was calculated to find the effects of various demographic data on reading scores of these children. In order to find the effects of codes switching on reading achievement and to enhance validity each child was interviewed by two researchers. A serious of pictures was used to stimulate language and a 200-word sample was elicited form each child. The samples were analyzed to determine what percentage of times was spent in code switching. Each child was given an informal reading inventory in Spanish and English language fluency tests and standardized reading test in Spanish and English were available from the permanent record files of the children. The percentages of codes switching from the language samples language fluency test and the informal reading inventories were correlated with reading achievement scores. No correlation was found between reading achievement and code switching. After the correlations were performed two, two-way ANOVAs were constructed to examine the effects of parental valued of education and oral language fluency on reading achievement. There was a high level of significance found when oral language scores were calculated with reading achievement. No interaction effects were found in either of the two-way ANOVA procedures. This study indicates that codes switching does not affect reading achievement of young bilingual children. Reading achievement was found to be related to oral language fluency and to parental perception of the importance of education.