The author thanks Kimber Bogard for valuable feedback during the stage of developing this work, and the participants at the “Immigrant Paradox in Education and Behavior: Is Becoming American a Developmental Risk” conference held at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island on March 6 and 7, 2009, as well as the three anonymous reviewers for their very helpful and constructive comments. The author gratefully acknowledges support from the Foundation for Child Development PK-3 Initiative and Columbia University Diversity Research Fellowship.
Bilingualism and Academic Achievement
Version of Record online: 18 NOV 2011
© 2011 The Author. Child Development © 2011 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc
Volume 83, Issue 1, pages 300–321, January/February 2012
How to Cite
Han, W.-J. (2012), Bilingualism and Academic Achievement. Child Development, 83: 300–321. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01686.x
- Issue online: 25 JAN 2012
- Version of Record online: 18 NOV 2011
Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort, this study examines the role that bilingualism plays in children’s academic developmental trajectories during their early school years, with particular attention on the school environment (N = 16,380). Growth-curve results showed that despite starting with lower math scores in kindergarten, Mixed Bilingual children fully closed the math gap with their White English Monolingual peers by fifth grade. However, because non-English-Dominant Bilinguals and non-English Monolinguals started kindergarten with significantly lower reading and math scores compared to their English Monolingual peers, by fifth grade the former groups still had significantly lower scores. School-level factors explained about one third of the reductions in the differences in children’s academic performance.