Literacy

Culture

 

Our research projects on bilingualism and

language acquisition

 

Tijunelis, V., Satterfield, T., & Benkí, J.R. (2013) Linking service-learning opportunities and domestic immersion experiences in US Latino communities: A case study of the En Nuestra Lengua Project. Hispania 96.2, 264-282. DOI: 10.1353/hpn.2013.0050  PDF 332 kb

ABSTRACT: We report on the service-learning component of an innovative Saturday-based Spanish literacy program for elementary school heritage learners and the Latino community who the program serves. The U.S. Hispanic population is growing throughout the country, resulting in greatly increased numbers of English language learners who are young heritage speakers of Spanish. First language (L1) Spanish literacy support can be very beneficial for these students as they acquire English literacy, but many communities do not have such programs in place. We highlight experiential- and service-learning opportunities such as literacy evaluators, classroom observers, and classroom teacher aides for native Spanish speakers, as well as for intermediate and advanced second language (L2) Spanish learners in this study. Native speakers also participate as classroom instructors. Both L1 and L2 service-learners benefit from the Spanish immersion environment of the literacy program outlined. Moreover, our case-study findings show that heritage students in the Saturday program and their largely immigrant parents are forming part of a diverse community that values bilingualism, Spanish literacy, and academic achievement.


Benkí, J. R. and Satterfield T. (Revision under review). Evaluation and placement of K-3 Spanish-speaking students in Saturday-school Heritage Language programs. PDF 1.0 Mb

ABSTRACT: The assessment instrument and class placement process are described for a novel Saturday Spanish heritage language program in Ann Arbor, Michigan, designed for students up to grade 3. Spanish literacy levels were assessed formally using the Spanish version of the Illinois Snapshots of Early Literacy (ISEL). The ISEL evaluates literacy skills such as alphabet recognition, oral comprehension, phonemic awareness, spelling, and vocabulary. The published kindergarten and 1st grade spring means were used as cut scores to place students into appropriate level classes. Use of the ISEL assessment data in class placement greatly reduced variability within each class on Spanish literacy level, while variability within each class on age or scholastic (normal school) grade level was only minimally increased, facilitating a more effective Spanish learning environment.


Zunamon, J. (2011) La lucha para el idioma: Un estudio del efecto de la escuela española extracurricular en el desarrollo académico de los niños latinos. Course paper for Español 428, University of Michigan. PDF 197 kb


Guzmán, E., Satterfield, T., and Benkí, J. (2011) The Relationship between Literacy Education and Language Development within Bilingual Spanish/English Heritage Speakers. Poster presented at 2011 CIC SROP Conference, Ohio State University, Columbus. PDF  1.2 Mb


Tijunelis, V. (2011) Heritage Language Programs: Building Community within a Community. Course paper for Education 792, University of Michigan. PDF 270 kb




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