English and Spanish Acquisition by Hispanic Second Graders in Developmental Bilingual Programs A 3-Year Longitudinal Randomized Study Academic Article uri icon


  • The authors studied a longitudinal English intervention in a 70/30 (Spanish/ English) developmental bilingual education (DBE) program ( n = 302) and compared this model with a typical-practice, 80/20, late-exit transitional bilingual education program ( n = 187) in terms of students' language and literacy acquisition from kindergarten to second grade in an urban school district in southeastern Texas. The findings revealed significant differences ( p values < .05) in favor of DBE students on (a) English measures of oral language, preliteracy skills, and reading fluency and comprehension (effect sizes of .12 to .71) and (b) Spanish measures of letter name and sound, preliteracy skills, and reading comprehension (effect sizes of .19 to .38). It was concluded that quality English instruction that incorporates direct and focused instruction, context-embedded vocabulary learning, and ongoing professional training in DBE programs is much needed to promote bilingualism and biliteracy.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Tong, F., Irby, B. J., Lara-Alecio, R., & Mathes, P. G.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Tong, Fuhui||Irby, Beverly J||Lara-Alecio, Rafael||Mathes, Patricia G

publication date

  • November 2008