Elementary School Foreign Languages and English Reading Achievement: A New View of the Relationship


  • Alan Garfinkel (Ph.D., The Ohio State University) is Associate Professor of Spanish and Education at Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN.

  • Kenneth E. Tabor (Ph.D., Purdue University) is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Purdue University—Calumet, Hammond, IN.


ABSTRACT The authors examined English reading scores of students of varying levels of intelligence who had and had not extended a third and fourth grade introduction to Spanish to a full one to two years of Spanish instruction in grades five and six. An especially significant relationship between high scores in reading and extending foreign language study from a minimal introduction to a larger scale instructional program was found in the cases of children of average intelligence. It was concluded that children of average intelligence may be the one group that profits most from extending foreign language study. The results of the observation favor more widespread enrollment in elementary school foreign language classes.