Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Development and Family Science


Developmental Science


Human Development and Family Science

First Advisor

Hyunjin Kim


During the past decade there has been a significant increase in children’s access to the internet and digital devices, such as computers and touch-screen devices. Literature concerning the digital media usage of Dual Language Learners (DLLs) and their English language development is limited, but the number of DLLs in the U.S. is increasing rapidly. The purpose of this study is to examine DLLs’ digital media (frequency & content) usage and its impact on their receptive and expressive English language development in kindergarten. It also examines how factors, such as family digital media rules and DLLs’ pre-K care arrangements may moderate their digital media’s effect on English language development. This study used a sample of 7,432 Dual Language Learners in kindergartens across the U.S. This sample was extracted from a secondary dataset, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011). The study employed descriptive statistics, mean differences analyses, correlations, and regression analyses (using coefficients) to examine the study questions and hypotheses. Results showed that DLLs’ expressive and receptive language development varied based on their computer use frequency. DLLs’ expressive and receptive English language development increased as their TV viewing frequency decreased. However, it did not vary based on the digital media content they consumed. Family digital media rules had no moderating effect on DLLs’ language development, but their pre-K care arrangements did moderate the impact of TV viewing frequency on their receptive and expressive language development. Pre-K care arrangements also moderated the impact of DLLs’ recreational digital media use on their receptive language development, but not on their expressive language development. These findings contribute to the limited literature on DLLs’ digital media use in relation to their language development. Results can be used by pediatricians to recommend the best use of digital media. Parents may also find this information helpful in deciding how often and how their children should use digital media. Early childhood educators and policymakers can also use these findings to advocate for the importance of preschool attendance and its impact on young DLLs’ language development.



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