This study investigates the quality of the writing tasks assigned to native Spanish speakers in bilingual (Spanish-English) contexts, and the relationship between task quality and students' use of an academic register in their native language. Fifty-six language arts tasks were collected from 26 grade 4 and 5 teachers, and four student writing samples were collected in response to each task (N = 224). Multilevel modeling revealed that variation in students' use of key features of academic language in their writing was associated with the cognitive demand of writing tasks. Findings suggest that students' opportunities to respond to challenging tasks when writing in their native language are rare and that the rigor of writing tasks may relate to students' production and development of academic language.
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