Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
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There is great concern about the lack of access to academic writing, especially for minority language schoolchildren. Although much research is devoted to social context and personal interactions in the classroom, a closer look at language itself would contribute to a better understanding of the development of literacy in a bilingual setting. The aim of this study is to examine the uses of one particular linguistic feature in incipient academic genres. Drawing on a functional linguistic framework, the article analyzes four functions of the verb decir (‘to say’) in texts written in Spanish by children in a Dual Language Program during two consecutive school years. The analysis includes texts taken from three main content areas — Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. Results show that decir was used to fulfill interactive, narrative, informative and reflective functions, which occur with different frequencies in the three content areas. The article especially discusses those functions that may lead to more advanced literacy. The study concludes with implications for the bilingual classroom, suggesting that linguistic awareness of different uses of the verb decir could help schoolchildren to organize incipient academic texts


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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