The relationship between classroom settings and language models with regard to the development of language and social skills of Spanish -speaking preschoolers with language disorders

Lourdes Evelyn Gonzalez, Pace University


Research within the field of language disorders is often flawed by designs and methodologies that fail to take cultural and linguistic diversity into account or that make improper cross-cultural comparisons. The work reported here addresses the possibility that bilingual integrated preschool education may enhance the Spanish and English language development and social skills of Spanish-speaking preschoolers with language disorders. This study assessed the language proficiency of 39 children enrolled in integrated/segregated settings and bilingual-alternate/monolingual preschool settings in the Bronx and Eastern Long Island. The Spanish and English receptive and expressive language skills were measured by three instruments: two measures of vocabulary skills were used, the Receptive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test (ROWPVT) and the Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised (EOWPVT-R). The Preschool Language Scale-3 (PLS-3), a more global measure of language development, was also utilized. The standard scores and raw scores in Spanish and English of these language scales were analyzed. Social skills were assessed by the Social Skills Rating System-Teachers' Form (SSRS). The results of ANCOVA for standard and raw scores of the language measures provided no support for the hypotheses. The findings indicated that Spanish-speaking preschoolers with language disorders enrolled in a segregated (impaired only) setting demonstrated significantly greater growth in their Spanish receptive language skills and expressive communication. The child-directed segregated settings seemed to have aided the preschoolers to generalize and develop their language skills. The results of ANCOVA revealed that there was no significant difference in the preschoolers' social skills between the integrated and segregated settings. As expected preschoolers in the bilingual-alternate settings showed significantly greater growth in their social skills than the preschoolers in the monolingual setting. Exposure to popular culture, books, and some social interaction with English speakers seemed to have provided the children with sufficient input for them to begin expressing themselves, socially interacting more, exploring and developing their social skills in the classroom. The results of a 2 x 2 ANCOVA controlling for ability at Time 1 indicated no relationship between severity of disability, classroom setting (integrated vs. segregated) and developmental outcomes (language ability and social skills) at Time 2. Results of this study are discussed in terms of current issues in the early childhood education of non-English-speaking children and implications for school psychologists.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Developmental psychology|Preschool education|Language arts

Recommended Citation

Gonzalez, Lourdes Evelyn, "The relationship between classroom settings and language models with regard to the development of language and social skills of Spanish -speaking preschoolers with language disorders" (2000). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI9978710.



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