Spanish speakers in the United States are a steadily increasing population, up by 233% since 1980. Given the growing population of dual language learners (DLLs) and the large numbers of Spanish-speaking children enrolled in pre-kindergarten programs, addressing the educational needs of preschool-aged DLLs has become a national imperative. Specifically, the intersection of this growing population and the dearth of appropriate assessment tools to evaluate DLLs early language and literacy skills creates a need for assessments that accurately measure preschool performance. This manuscript reports on the iterative design process of a measure of Spanish phonological awareness for preschool-aged DLLs: Spanish Individual Growth and Development Indicators (S-IGDI) Primeros Sonidos. We employed measure design framework to develop the measure and tested item function within a study of 970, 4–5 year old DLLs. Results, including item level analyses and evidence regarding construct and criterion validity are reported.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences [R305A120449]
This work was supported in part by grant R305A120449, Research and Development of Spanish Individual Growth and Development Indicators (S-IGDIs): Early Literacy identification measures for Spanish-English bilingual children, from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. The authors would like to thank colleagues who assisted with this project including participating childcare centers and programs in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, central Florida, rural Utah and Idaho, and northwestern California. Additionally, the authors express sincere appreciation for the work contributed by the research team at Utah State University who participated in measure design and data collection. The opinions and recommendations presented in this paper are those of the authors alone, and no official endorsement from the Institute of Education Sciences should be inferred.