Assistant Professor Brandy Gatlin publishes with colleagues Nicole Patton Terry and Lakeisha Johnson in Topics in Language Disorders: "Same or Different: How Bilingual Readers Can Help Us Understand Bidialectal Readers."
Terry, N. P., Gatlin, B., & Johnson, L. (January 2018). Same or Different: How bilingual readers can help us understand bidialectal readers. Topics in Language Disorders, 38(1), 50-65. DOI10.1097/TLD.0000000000000141
Reading achievement gaps are prominent in US schools, most notably when comparing the performance of African American and Latino/Hispanic children to their White peers. Among the many reasons offered to explain and address these achievement gaps, language differences and language proficiency are primary considerations because many African American children are bidialectal and many Latino/Hispanic children are bilingual. While bidialectalism and bilingualism are not risks to be remedied, they represent unique language experiences that children bring to the task of learning to read. A review of the literature suggests that these language differences are associated with children’s language and reading development. However, bidialectalism and bilingualism have different implications for children’s receptive and expressive English language knowledge. Moreover, there is evidence that their language differences can be leveraged as strengths to support literacy learning.