Melissa van der Elst-Koeiman, Eliane Segers, Ronald Severing & Ludo Verhoeven – Learning to read in mother tongue or foreign language: Comparing Papiamento-Dutch reading skills in the post-colonial Dutch Caribbean

March 14, 2022

Learning

Abstract
We studied the Papiamento (L1) and Dutch (L2) reading of 293 fourth grade students in the postcolonial Dutch Caribbean, where L1 just latterly has been introduced into the school curriculum. We examined the effect of language of alphabetization (L1 first vs L2 first) and other L1 and L2 cognitive-linguistic predictors on reading skills. The results show that children’s mother tongue, Papiamento, occupies a strong position in both the cognitive-linguistic precursors to learning to read and in the reading comprehension outcomes. In general, higher Papiamento predictor scores and Papiamento reading comprehension were found. However, children’s word decoding was generally higher in Dutch. Phonological awareness and rapid naming predicted Papiamento word decoding, vocabulary, phonological awareness, and rapid naming and word span predicted Dutch decoding. Word decoding predicted reading comprehension in Papiamento and grammar predicted reading comprehension in Dutch. There was evidence of linguistic interdependencies for decoding and reading comprehension between languages.

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1041608022000255

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