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Development of a Dual Language Narrative Curriculum


Trina D. Spencer, PhD

Principal Investigators:

  • Trina D. Spencer, PhD

Funding Source:

USDOE/Institute of Educational Sciences

The Puente de Cuentos dual language narrative curriculum was developed through a four-year research grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences totaling $1,481,976.  The long-term goal of the project is to promote academic success among young Spanish-speaking English learners.  The short-term goal is to iteratively develop a Spanish-English multi-tiered curriculum for use in Head Start preschools that promotes academic language through storytelling.

This research project is based on the knowledge that early oral language skills lay the foundation for later reading comprehension and academic success. Young Spanish-speaking English learners, with limited English language, are at risk for academic difficulty. Early and intensive language promotion that builds upon their Spanish language foundation can help prepare English learners for school success and foster bilingualism, which can lead to increased social, vocational and economic opportunities.

Description of Project:

Puente de Cuentos extends an English-only program called Story Champs to enhance its potential with preschool age Spanish-speaking English language learners. In preliminary studies, the dual language intervention promoted English language acquisition while supporting the development of children’s first language, which is expected to prepare children for formal reading instruction.


The program consists of 36 English large group lessons to be delivered across the school year with 36 Spanish small group lessons and 36 corresponding English small group lessons. Extension activities and family engagement activities supplement the classroom lessons.


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Faculty & Staff