Changing Nonmainstream American English Use and Early Reading Achievement From Kindergarten to First Grade Purpose This study had 2 principal aims: (a) to examine whether children who spoke Nonmainstream American English (NMAE) frequently in school at the end of kindergarten increased their production of Mainstream American English (MAE) forms by the end of first grade, and (b) to examine concurrent and predictive relations between ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2012
Changing Nonmainstream American English Use and Early Reading Achievement From Kindergarten to First Grade
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nicole Patton Terry
    Georgia State University and the Center for Research on Atypical Development and Learning, Atlanta, and Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT
  • Carol McDonald Connor
    Florida State University and the Florida Center for Reading Research, Tallahassee
  • Correspondence to Nicole Patton Terry: npterry@gsu.edu
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: RaMonda Horton-Ikard
    Associate Editor: RaMonda Horton-Ikard×
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2012
Changing Nonmainstream American English Use and Early Reading Achievement From Kindergarten to First Grade
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2012, Vol. 21, 78-86. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/10-0093)
History: Received November 3, 2010 , Revised June 28, 2011 , Accepted November 25, 2011
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2012, Vol. 21, 78-86. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/10-0093)
History: Received November 3, 2010; Revised June 28, 2011; Accepted November 25, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

Purpose This study had 2 principal aims: (a) to examine whether children who spoke Nonmainstream American English (NMAE) frequently in school at the end of kindergarten increased their production of Mainstream American English (MAE) forms by the end of first grade, and (b) to examine concurrent and predictive relations between children’s NMAE use and reading skills.

Method A longitudinal design was implemented with 49 children who varied in their spoken NMAE production in kindergarten. Word reading, phonological awareness, and receptive vocabulary skills were measured at both time points.

Results Analyses indicated that most children significantly increased their production of MAE forms between the 2 time points; however, this change was not associated with change in letter-word reading and phonological awareness skills. Regression analyses showed that NMAE use in kindergarten contributed significantly and independently to the variance in word reading in first grade, even after accounting for phonological awareness (although word reading in kindergarten was the best predictor of word reading in first grade).

Conclusions The findings extend previous reports of a significant relation between NMAE use and reading among young children. Theoretical, research, and educational implications of the findings are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported in part by a supplemental grant awarded to the United Way Metropolitan Atlanta for the Developing Readers Early And Mightily (DREAM) and Reinforce, Educate, And Develop Early Readers Successfully (READERS) Early Reading First Program grants. The opinions expressed are ours and do not represent views of the funding agencies. We would like to thank the staff at Smart Start and the early learning division of the United Way Metropolitan Atlanta, particularly Sharen Hausmann and Katrina Mitchell, for their assistance with this project. We especially thank the children and families who participated in this project, without whom this research would not have been possible.
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