Mother tongue reading materials as a bridge to literacy

Margaret A. Leighton*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    16 Downloads (Pure)


    Children whose mother tongue is different from the language of instruction at school face additional challenges developing literacy skills. One approach to this favours immersion in the language of instruction, while another favours a transitional period of bilingual educa- tion. This paper evaluates the impact of a primary school literacy intervention. In addition to multifaceted literacy support, the programme included a component of transitional bilingual education for students whose mother tongue is not the usual language of instruction. Over two years, the intervention raised literacy scores in the language of instruction by +0.41 sd, and literacy in mother tongue for minority language speakers by +0.75 sd. Our findings suggests that a light-touch transitional bilingual component can support minority language literacy without crowding out acquisition of the language of instruction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number102312
    JournalEconomics of Education Review
    Early online date26 Sept 2022
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


    • Primary education
    • Literacy
    • Intervention
    • Language of instruction


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