Research Findings: The study examined the relationship between Spanish-speaking DLL children’s engagement within the preschool classroom with teachers, peers, and tasks and their school readiness skills compared to monolingual English-speaking peers. Results suggested that DLL children had lower language skills and phonological awareness by the end of the preschool year. However, children’s positive engagement with teachers mediated the relationship between DLL status and children’s language skills. Finally, the relationship between children’s engagement and school readiness outcomes differed by whether children are DLL or monolingual; for DLL children, positively engaging with teachers, peers, and tasks were positively associated with their receptive and expressive vocabulary, phonological awareness, and print knowledge skills. Practice or Policy: The findings highlight how children’s classroom engagement, particularly DLLs, is associated with their school readiness outcomes. That is, DLL and monolingual children are experiencing different levels of engagement expose potential inequities in the levels of quality experienced within classrooms. Classrooms must maximize the opportunities for DLLs to practice their language skills with peers, in particular, across languages as a way of supporting their development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology