The power of systematic observation to inform teachers and improve instruction is well documented. However, until now, this work has only supported English language literacy, even though Spanish speaking students constitute the fastest growing group in American schools.
Drawing on the theoretical framework that made Marie Clay's An Observation Survey such a success, a new team of authors has developed and applied these same tasks for Spanish speaking students.
Instrumento de observación de los logros de la lecto escritura inicial is not a literal translation of Clay's original book, but a conceptual re-creation from English to Spanish, based on extensive research in bilingual education. It considers how children who come into contact with two languages use those languages to make sense of their world, providing plenty of observation tasks to monitor their progress.
Since the work was developed for use in the United States, explanations of theoretical concepts, procedures, research results, and directions to teachers are all presented in English. The observation tasks, examples of student responses, and directions for their administration appear in Spanish. Response and recording sheets are in both English and Spanish.
Collectively, this book expands the knowledge base of bilingual teachers in a way that enables them to be better observers of children's literacy behaviors and, in the process, improve instruction. Efforts like this are imperative if we are to realize the academic potential of Spanish speaking students in our country.