A key finding in the 1980s and 1990s is that childrenwho develop good phonological awareness (PA) skillswent on to become good readers. A second criticalfinding in the 1990s and this decade (2000s) is thatchildren who develop strong oral language skillsdevelop good PA skills, thus becoming good readers. This study examined the extent to which the earlyelementary (kindergarten and first grade) L1 and L2oral language skills of Spanish-speaking Englishlanguage learners predict reading performance at theend of elementary school (fifth grade). Morespecifically, the study investigated the jointlongitudinal effects of Spanish-language andEnglish-language proficiency on reading performanceby the time students were ready to enter the middleschool grades. The results demonstrate that combinedL1 and L2 early language skills, for students in bothbilingual education and English immersion programs,predicted fifth-grade reading comprehension skillsjust as well as did early decoding skills. This studybreaks new ground by examining the long-term effectof ELL students? oral language proficiency, in boththeir first language (Spanish L1) and second language(English L2), on English reading achievement. Thisanalysis will be useful to educators who teachEnglish language learners, and to policy makers whomust decide how best to instruct these students.