You do not have JavaScript Enabled on this browser. Please enable it in order to use the full functionality of our website.

EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

English Literacy Development for English Language Learners: Does Spanish Instruction Promote or Hinder?

Thomason, K. M., Gorman, B. K., et al. (2008).
EBP Briefs, 2, 13-24.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a systematic review of randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental controlled studies, and regression discontinuity designs pertaining to the effect of Spanish versus English literacy instruction on English literacy development in native Spanish speakers learning English as a second language.

Question(s) Addressed:

Does literacy instruction in Spanish promote or interfere with Spanish-speaking English language learners’ literacy development in English?

Population: Native Spanish speakers who were learning English as a second language and who were enrolled in preschool through fifth grade

Intervention/Assessment: Literacy instruction in Spanish versus English

Number of Studies Included: 5

Years Included: 1990 - 2007



The results of these studies indicate that Spanish literacy instruction does not interfere with English language learning. Furthermore, literacy instruction in both Spanish and English was shown to improve English literacy skills more than instruction in English alone.

Keywords: English Language Learners, Literacy

Access the Review

Added to Compendium: December 2011

ASHA Corporate Partners