Examining Linguistic Interactions of Dual Language Learners Using the Language Interaction Snapshot (LISn)

Franco, X., Bryant, D. M., Gillanders, C., Castro, D. C., Zepeda, M., & Willoughby, M. T.

From the abstract: "The Language Interaction Snapshot (LISn) is an observational measure developed to document the quantity and quality of language use in early childhood classrooms with dual language learners (DLLs). This study detailed the ways in which LISn data describes the linguistic interactions of Spanish–English DLLs with their teachers and peers. Participants were 104 teachers and assistant teachers from 52 classrooms in preschool programs in California, Florida and North Carolina and 341 DLLs. During the fall and spring classrooms were observed with the LISn and children were assessed in English and Spanish using receptive and expressive vocabulary measures. The association between linguistic interactions, as measured by the LISn, and DLLs’ language outcomes was examined in about half the sample (in 26 classrooms). Results revealed that children had fewer language interactions with adults in Spanish than in English, even though there was at least one adult who spoke Spanish in every classroom, and they had few language interactions with any adult in either language. The language interactions children did have with teachers were generally of basic quality (i.e., giving directions and providing information) rather than complex quality (i.e., requesting language, using decontextualized talk, and reading aloud). Although children had somewhat more verbal interactions with peers, very few were sustained more than two turns. Associations were found between complex language interactions in English and children’s bilingual receptive vocabulary outcomes. This demonstrates that the LISn holds promise as a measure of language interactions in early childhood classrooms with DLLs."

Citation: Franco, X., Bryant, D. M., Gillanders, C., Castro, D. C., Zepeda, M., & Willoughby, M. T. (2019). Examining linguistic interactions of dual language learners using the Language Interaction Snapshot (LISn). Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 48, 50-61.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2019.02.007