A Two-study Investigation of the Home Literacy Environment: Examination of Latino Children’s Literacy Growth and a Critical Review of Assessment Practices in the Home Literacy Environment
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This two-study examination was designed to explore aspects of the home literacy environment (HLE) in relation to young English Language Learners’ (ELLs) Spanish literacy development and to critically examine the approaches previous studies employed to define and assess the HLE. The first study included (n = 158) Latino ELLs and their families and investigated whether their HLEs impacted their Spanish literacy development from prekindergarten to first grade. Growth curve analyses of the reading performance of children assigned to one of three validated HLE profiles revealed significant increases in letter recognition and phonemic awareness skills across all three groups. However, children’s HLE classification did not contribute to differences in ELL’s literacy growth over time. Further examination of the starting points and growth rates of ELL children’s literacy skills revealed greater growth rates for children assigned to Profile 2 in their letter recognition skills. The second study was a critical review to identify dimensions and standardized tests on the HLE. Key findings included (a) the majority of prior studies used indirect measures of parent reports to evaluate the HLE, (b) most prior studies focused on the quality of HLE practices in relation to children’s language and literacy outcomes, and (c) the majority of HLE studies have focused on Caucasian children between the ages of 3 and 7 years. Collectively, findings from this dissertation suggest that future studies should employ more direct assessments of the HLE that incorporate relevant dimensions identified by prior research. Moreover, given the growing number of young Hispanic ELL children entering US schools, future studies of the HLE should involve this population’s families.
Subjecthome literacy environment
English Language Learner
assessment of the home literacy environment
Davis, Heather Stephens (2016). A Two-study Investigation of the Home Literacy Environment: Examination of Latino Children’s Literacy Growth and a Critical Review of Assessment Practices in the Home Literacy Environment. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from
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