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Nurturing Bilingual Literacy in Latino Children Robert Needlman, MD MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland robert.needlman@case.edu

Goals: Able to… • Give evidence-based advice to parents … to lay strong foundations for literacy and bilingualism. • Advocate for programs that support early childhood literacy. • Understand the role of healthcare providers and institutions.

Key Ideas • Latino literacy is the challenge • Bilingualism is the goal, for many reasons • It takes a community: -

Parents Preschools Doctors Libraries Advocates and policy makers

2003 International Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey, US Adults 16-65 by Race/Ethnicity

US Literacy, 1992-2003

Percentage of Adults in Below Basic Literacy Performance, 2003

Chart: Childtrends.org

Change in NAEP 4th Grade Reading, 2005-2015

Change in NAEP 8th Grade Reading, 2005-2015

Change in NAEP 8th Grade Reading, 2005-2015

Foundations of School Readiness Reading

5 to 8

Motivation Attention Language

Birth to 5

Vocabulary Growth


Middle class Public assistance

From: Hart and Risley (1995) Meaningful Differences in the Lives of American Children.

Stages in Writing mature spelling single letter, single sound single letters as whole words letters as design elements scribbling

Stages in Reading Mature Reading Use of Print Cues Retelling from Memory Retelling from Pictures Attention to Print Pretend Reading Book Handling Attention to Book

Development of Literacy Preschool Verbal language, Stories, Relationship with literacy Readiness skills

Early Elementary Joy or learning, persistence

Reading and Writing (print skills)

Middle, High School, etc. Comprehension, Composition, Word-world knowledge Reading fluency, keyboarding

Reading Aloud: “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading� (National Institute of Education, 1985; IRA -NAEYC Joint Statement, 1988)

Regular Reading Aloud to Preschool Children, and Percent Children in the Lowest Quartile at End of Kindergarten, as Function of Maternal Education. 80


70 60


50 40


52 39 32



20 8

10 0 <12

12 Reading Aloud


College grad

Low Reading in K

Data from National Center for Education Statistics

Reading Practices for Children 4-35 months old (2000 National Survey of Early Childhood Health) Flores G. et al, Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005 90 80



60 40

African American




20 10


0 Read to daily

Read <daily

Never read to

Number books

What are the myths and forces pushing against Latino child literacy?

What can parents and communities do?

Challenges: Lack of… • • • • •

Bilingual preschool programs Library resources Bookstores Radio and TV program Parent awareness of importance of home language and culture

Double Risk of Language Loss English-only preschool, schools, and media; English in the dominant culture Home Language Lily Wong Fillmore: The Effects of Educational Policies and Practices on Home Languages and Learning, in Latino Early Literacy Development, NCLR, 2005

Bottom Line: English Language Learners do much better in bilingual educational programs, both in English and other subjects. Bilingual education needs to continue through at least 4 years of schooling.

Doctors’ Special Opportunity to Promote Reading Aloud • 10 or more “Well-child visits” over first 5 years. • One-on-one, individualized, trusted guidance. • Parents want information on children’s learning.

Reach Out and Read â&#x20AC;˘ Three-part intervention: 1. Literacy-friendly waiting rooms (readers) 2. Doctors give guidance

3. A new book to take home

â&#x20AC;˘ Every well-child visit from 6 months through 5 years.

15 Peer-Reviewed Studies


Golova , Pediatrics, 1998

Parent reads books with child at least 3 days/week 66%*







Baseline (n=135)



Follow-up (n=129)

Silverstein, Iverson & Lozano, Pediatrics, 2002

Outcomes in Non-English Speaking Families (N=55 Before ROR, 55 After; 14 Languages) 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

56 49 36 27


11 Bedtime


10 Bks

Before After

Mendelsohn, Mogliner, Dreyer, et al Pediatrics, Jan. 2001

â&#x20AC;˘ 122 low-income, black and Latino children in 2 clinics in New York City â&#x20AC;˘ One clinic had had ROR for 3 years, the other for 3 months

Language Scores Adjusted mean language scores

(ROR Clinic = yellow bar) 95 90


85 85.2 80

85.2 80.9

75 70 Receptive

95% CI 3.3 14.0 p<.002


95% CI 0.04 8.6 P< .05

Exp Cont

Building on Strengths Familismo Marianismo CariĂąo Respeto Educacion Mariana Glusman, MD; Pre-K Now Research Series: Pre-K and Latinos: The Foundation of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Future, Jull 2006, Eugene Garcia, Ph.D. and Danielle Gonzales, M.Ed. (pg, 2, 3)

Bilingual Families: Use home language. Read in home language. OK to mix. Read, Talk, Sing. Quality preschool.

Thanks to: Mariana Glusman, MD (Northwestern University, Reach Out and Read, Leyendo Juntos) Reach Out and Read National Center: www.reachoutandread.org

Reach out and Read Greater Cleveland: www.reachotandreadGC.org

Resources: All of the cited Reports are at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0 uzlr03hlrndhl2/AABLVQLEgL TDFiEYDo3Ayqh-a?dl=0 Email me and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll send you this Dropbox link: robert.needlman@case.edu

Profile for Ohio Latino Affairs Commission

Nurturing bilingual literacy in latino children  

Nurturing bilingual literacy in latino children  

Profile for ochla