The bilingual reading practices and performance of two Hispanic first graders

Angela M. López-Velásquez, Georgia Earnest García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This qualitative study used a sociocultural lens to examine how two bilingual Hispanic first-grade girls demonstrated bilingual reading practices (i.e., heteroglossia and translanguaging) as they discussed and read texts in Spanish and English. One girl predominantly received school reading instruction in Spanish, while the other received school reading instruction in English. They both participated in Spanish reading at home. The school reading instruction employed Spanish or English versions of Success for All, and emphasized word recognition strategies appropriate for the language of instruction along with meaning-making strategies. In April, the two girls scored mid- to end-of first grade on a curriculum-based reading assessment in the language of instruction. Neither of them received biliteracy instruction. Their reading levels in the instructional language and exposure to the other language appeared to be sufficient for them to develop and demonstrate heteroglossic practices. Bilingual dynamic reading assessments and home reading sessions with a bilingual researcher revealed that both girls utilized bilingual reading practices to discuss and comprehend texts in their non-instructional or alternate language. One of the girls also used bilingual reading practices to discuss texts in the instructional language. To read in the alternate language, they both employed word-recognition and meaning-making strategies, which had been emphasized in their school reading instruction. However, one girl’s attempt to use a decoding strategy she had learned in English (i.e., onset-rime) to decode unfamiliar Spanish words did not work effectively. Implications are delineated for the bilingual reading instruction and assessment of young bilingual children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-261
Number of pages16
JournalBilingual Research Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'The bilingual reading practices and performance of two Hispanic first graders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this