Sociocultural Contexts of Reading Development in Young English Language Learners

Hsin-Hui Lin, Liping Wei, Mei-Chih Wang


This study explored reading development in young English language learners (ELL) during the kindergarten year. Data used in this study came from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-2011 (ECLS-K: 2011). A total sample of 15,042 students who attended kindergarten the first time was included. The independent variables were the indicators of the home language, family income level, and gender. The two dependent variables were students’ reading item response theory (IRT) scale scores in the fall and spring semester of the kindergarten year. Two full three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) models were used for the statistical analyses. The results found there is a gender difference in children’s reading performance, with female students doing slightly better than male. The family income levels also show differences in children’s reading performance. The higher the family income was, the better students showed in their mean reading scores. English Only Learners (EOL) had the highest mean scores, followed by the group of multilingual learners (ML), English language learners (ELL) group had the lowest scores for both semesters. Among the 18 subgroups, the highest group was ELL-high-income-family-females in the fall semester and ML-middle-income-family-males in the spring semester. The lowest group was ELL-low-income-males for both semesters.

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Journal of Studies in Education ISSN 2162-6952


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