A study investigated the factors influencing the English word identification performance of Spanish-speaking beginning readers. Beginning readers were administered tests of letter naming, Spanish phonological awareness, Spanish and English word recognition, and Spanish and English oral proficiency. Multiple-regression analyses revealed that the readers' performance on English word and pseudoword recognition tests was predicted by the levels of both Spanish phonological awareness and Spanish word recognition, thus indicating cross-language transfer. In contrast, neither English nor Spanish oral proficiency affected word-identification performance. Results suggest a specific way in which first-language learning and experience can aid children in the beginning stages of reading.