This study examines the relationship of reading skills to previous exposure to a second language. Its purpose is to provide direct evidence of a causal role for bilingualism in reading acquisition. Single word reading, connected text measures, and vocabulary measures are compared among three groups of first graders of monolingual Hebrew speakers, bilingual Russian-Hebrew speakers and monolingual Arab speakers. One-way ANOVA and correlations between the measure of reading speed and errors of text and measures of vocabulary are compared in Hebrew and Arabic groups. The results reveal that language experience affects reading, as Russian-Hebrew bilinguals are faster and more accurate in reading text than monolingual Hebrew children, and both are better than Arabic children. It was concluded that exposure to a second language in early childhood positively affects reading skills at the first-grade level. This finding concurs with other reports showing that bilingualism is a powerful predictor of the speed and effieciency of reading acquisition (Da Fontoura and Siegel, 1995).
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||The Linguistics Journal|
|State||Published - 2 Apr 2007|