Vocabulary Skills of Spanish-English Speaking Elementary Students: A Pilot Study Introduction Bilingualism is the norm worldwide. Despite the fact that nearly one in five individuals (17.9%; U.S. Census Bureau, 2007) speaks another language other than English in the home, knowledge regarding the nature of bilingualism and school performance, particularly vocabulary skills in bilingual children, is still needed. Purpose ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2015
Vocabulary Skills of Spanish-English Speaking Elementary Students: A Pilot Study
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alejandro Brice
    College of Education, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Cynthia Leung
    College of Education, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Brenda K. Gorman
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Elmurst College, Elmhurst, IL
  • Financial Disclosure: Alejandro Brice is a professor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Cynthia Leung is professor of Literacy Education at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Brenda K. Gorman is an associate professor at Elmhurst College.
    Financial Disclosure: Alejandro Brice is a professor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Cynthia Leung is professor of Literacy Education at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Brenda K. Gorman is an associate professor at Elmhurst College.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Alejandro Brice has previously published in the subject area. Cynthia Leung has previously published in the subject area. Brenda K. Gorman has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Alejandro Brice has previously published in the subject area. Cynthia Leung has previously published in the subject area. Brenda K. Gorman has previously published in the subject area.×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Article
Article   |   December 01, 2015
Vocabulary Skills of Spanish-English Speaking Elementary Students: A Pilot Study
SIG 14 Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations, December 2015, Vol. 22, 102-111. doi:10.1044/cds22.3.102
History: Received June 26, 2015 , Revised September 22, 2015 , Accepted October 12, 2015
SIG 14 Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations, December 2015, Vol. 22, 102-111. doi:10.1044/cds22.3.102
History: Received June 26, 2015; Revised September 22, 2015; Accepted October 12, 2015

Introduction Bilingualism is the norm worldwide. Despite the fact that nearly one in five individuals (17.9%; U.S. Census Bureau, 2007) speaks another language other than English in the home, knowledge regarding the nature of bilingualism and school performance, particularly vocabulary skills in bilingual children, is still needed.

Purpose This study investigated vocabulary skills of bilingual, Spanish-English speaking students enrolled in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.

Methods Fifteen Spanish-English speaking students were administered English and Spanish receptive and expressive vocabulary measures. Total conceptual vocabulary scores were also obtained for both the English and Spanish measures.

Results Results indicated significant differences for 3rd and 5th grade groups on the Spanish expressive vocabulary measure and also on the expressive total conceptual vocabulary measure.

Conclusions The bilingual students, although the majority had been mainstreamed and exited from ESOL classes and services, appeared to be still acquiring English vocabulary skills and may have not attained complete cognitive academic English language proficiencies. Therefore, it is possible that incomplete vocabulary skills may affect overall academic language skills and overall academic performance. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) must strive to maintain native language skills that facilitate reading comprehension and English academic success.

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