In this study, the authors examine how emergent bilingual second graders collaboratively constructed textual understandings, a phenomenon they call intercomprehending, by building on each other's contributions and positioning their ideas in relation to peer ideas. The study traces the interrelationships of the utterances of emergent bilingual students discussing text in English for the first time in the context of a small-group discussion focused on English-language picture books. The textual ideas students shared were highly contingent on peer ideas and at the same time drew substantially on the text itself, particularly the illustrations. The authors argue that intercomprehending may serve as a fruitful way for emergent bilingual students to build on what they know as they read and learn in school and that classroom teachers may do well to build on that resource.

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