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Longitudinal Study: LSAC
Title: The English Proficiency and Academic Language Skills of Australian Bilingual Children During the Primary School Years
Authors: Kvalsvig, Amanda 
Dennaoui, Kamelia 
O'Connor, Meredith 
Nicholls, Ruth 
Tarasuik, Joanne 
Goldfeld, Sharon 
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 157 - 165
Keywords: language
Abstract: Purpose : Evidence suggests that early proficiency in the language of school instruction is an important predictor of academic success for bilingual children. This study investigated whether English-proficiency at 4 – 5 years of age predicts academic language and literacy skills among Australian bilingual children at 10 – 11 years of age, as part of the longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC, 2012). Method : The LSAC comprises a nationally representative clustered cross-sequential sample of Australian children. Data were analysed from a sub-sample of 129 bilingual children from the LSAC Kindergarten cohort ( n = 4983), for whom teachers completed the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) checklist (a population measure of early childhood development) and the Academic Rating Scale (ARS) language and literacy subscale. Result : Linear regression analyses revealed that bilingual children who commenced school with stronger English proficiency had higher academic language and literacy scores at the end of primary school ( β = 0.45). English proficiency remained a significant predictor, even when accounting for gender and socio-economic disadvantage ( β = 0.38). Conclusion : The findings indicate that bilingual children who begin school without English proficiency are at risk of difficulties with academic language and literacy, even after 6 years of schooling. Risk factors need to be identified so early support can be targeted towards the most vulnerable children.
Keywords: Child Development -- Speech and Language
Research collection: Journal Articles
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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