DIVERSITY, EXCLUSION AND RISK, AS SECOND-LANGUAGE LEARNERS OF IMMIGRANT PARENTS ACQUIRE FIRST-TIME LITERACY IN ENGLISH

Norma Nel, Elizabeth Snelgar

Abstract


Research has shown that acquisition of literacy skills and the ultimate realisation of literacy, which involves comprehension of the written text, require more than the ability to decode individual words. This study provides a synopsis of current research on the topics of globalisation, the resultant cultural incompatibility in the classroom, emergent literacy, vocabulary development, reading, and reading comprehension. As such, it offers a discussion of a comparative study of limited English-proficient (LEP)/English language learners (ELLs) acquiring first-time literacy, with the attendant vocabulary deficits and lack of age-appropriate decoding skills. Quantitative and qualitative approaches were combined to examine the differences between reading skills, comprehension, and vocabulary when a learner born of foreign parents acquires first-time literacy in a language other than his or her home language. Statistical techniques were used to analyse and interpret the research results. Analysis of the study results isolates and specifies an at-risk educational minority through the identification of a hidden comprehension deficit (HCD).


Keywords


English language learner; limited English proficiency; hidden comprehension deficit; rapid automatic naming; phonemic awareness; comprehension deficit; second language

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5785/28-1-116

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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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