Asymmetries in the reading competence of English and Spanish speakers in dual immersion programs: A quantitative and cross-sectional study




dual immersion, reading comprehension, biliteracy, Spanish language acquisition


Dual immersion programs (also known as two-way immersion or TWI), which ideally combine students of two linguistic groups, 50% of speakers of the target language and 50% of the majority language, have been proven effective in the achievement of similar levels of biliteracy and academic success in both languages. They also guarantee the closing of the achievement gap between the two groups. Nonetheless, it seems that similar levels of biliteracy are not always present in all students by the end of the program life. This asymmetry can affect both the level of biliterate proficiency and the academic achievement. The present quantitative, cross-sectional study was carried on in a secondary dual immersion program implemented in a school district in Southern California. The study compares the achievement in all four skills of Spanish language, especially in reading comprehension, of two groups of students (Spanish and English speakers), over a four-year span. Using the scores from a standardized language test in Spanish (DELE Escolar), we analyze and compare results to confirm or reject the hypothesis that scores reflecting literacy through reading comprehension are, on average, better in one group of students than in the other. We also delve into the reasons for this potential mismatch and revise the educational practices and policies that may be causing this deficiency in the outcome of these enrichment programs.


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Author Biographies

Maria Capdevila-Gutierrez, Toll Middle School

María Capdevila-Gutiérrez es la directora del departamento de lenguas modernas en Toll Middle School, Glendale, CA desde 2012. Anteriormente fue profesora de español e inglés como segundo idioma en las universidades de Nebraska (UNL), Illinois (UIUC) y Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) entre los años 1999 y 2012. Graduada en Lenguas Modernas por la UCLM, posteriormente obtuvo un doble máster en inglés y español (UNL) y un doctorado en educación por la UCLM.

A. Jesus Moya-Guijarro, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

A. Jesús Moya-Guijarro es catedrático de Filología Inglesa en la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha. Ha publicado varios artículos sobre discurso multimodale en revistas internacionales como Review of Cognitive Linguistics, Word, Functions of Language, Journal of Pragmatics o Text and Talk. Entre otros libros, es co-editor de The World Told and The World Shown: Multisemiotic Issues (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) y autor del volumen A Multimodal Analysis of Picture Books for Children. A Systemic Functional Approach (Equinox, 2014). Su último libro coeditado se titula A Multimodal Approach to Challenging Gender Stereotypes in Children’s Picture Books (Routledge, 2021). En la actualidad es Investigador Principal del proyecto I+D AMULIT (referencia FFI2017-85306-P) sobre libros álbum, género y multimodalidad.




How to Cite

Capdevila-Gutierrez, M., & Moya-Guijarro, A. J. (2022). Asymmetries in the reading competence of English and Spanish speakers in dual immersion programs: A quantitative and cross-sectional study. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 30, (30).