Researchers Say

  • Researchers Say

    A First Language helps a student learn a Second Language:

    •    “The notion that first language ‘interferes’ with a second language has been…rejected by extensive research findings on the positive role the first language plays in [learning a second language]” (Ovando, Combs & Collier, 2006, p. 124, italics added)

    •    “To assure cognitive [brain] and academic success in a second  language, a student’s first  language system, oral and  written, must be developed to a high cognitive level at least through the elementary school years” (Ovando, Combs & Collier, 2006, p. 125, italics included)



    Skills and Learning strategies of a First Language also work in a Second Language:

    •    “Because many skills are transferable to a second language, ‘time spent learning in the [first] language…is not time lost in developing English’. To the contrary, a child with a strong foundation in the first language will [do] better in English” (Crawford, 2004, p. 168)  

    •    “If parents read or tell stories to their children in the first language, the children will…[learn] a variety of…forms and genres of the written language as well as in the language of day-to day interaction” (Ovando, Combs & Collier, 2006)