Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Immigrant and refugee students’ achievement in Vancouver secondary schools: an examination of the common.. Clarke, Debra Kathleen 1997

You don't seem to have a PDF reader installed, try download the pdf

Item Metadata

Download

Media
[if-you-see-this-DO-NOT-CLICK]
ubc_1997-0166.pdf [ 4.3MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 1.0078106.json
JSON-LD: 1.0078106+ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 1.0078106.xml
RDF/JSON: 1.0078106+rdf.json
Turtle: 1.0078106+rdf-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 1.0078106+rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 1.0078106 +original-record.json
Full Text
1.0078106.txt
Citation
1.0078106.ris

Full Text

I M M I G R A N T A N D REFUGEE STUDENTS' A C H I E V E M E N T I N V A N C O U V E R S E C O N D A R Y S C H O O L S : A N E X A M I N A T I O N OF T H E C O M M O N U N D E R L Y I N G PROFICIENCY M O D E L by DEBRA K A T H L E E N CLARKE B.Sc, The University of British Columbia, 1979 D i p l o m a i n Education, The University of British Columbia, 1995 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R OF ARTS in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Language Education) W e accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F BRITISH C O L U M B I A A p r i l 1997 © Debra Kathleen Clarke, 1997  In  presenting this  degree at the  thesis in  University of  partial  fulfilment  of  of  department  this thesis for or  by  his  or  requirements  British Columbia, I agree that the  freely available for reference and study. I further copying  the  representatives.  an advanced  Library shall make  it  agree that permission for extensive  scholarly purposes may be granted her  for  It  is  by the  understood  that  head of copying  my or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department  of  Lc\^  u  t?  tZA a r tx In  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  (Xp^J  *•!)  HI?  ABSTRACT  The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of first language literacy and educational backgrounds on literacy and academic performance i n a second language and, to learn more about students' perceptions of their linguistic, academic and social development i n schooling i n which the language of instruction is English. Fifty-five students were selected from seven high schools i n the Vancouver School District, Vancouver, British Columbia. Information about students' first language (I4) literacy and educational experiences, including previous instruction in English was obtained on arrival. Proficiency i n second language (L2) reading and first and second language writing was observed on arrival and i n the spring of 1996, after a m i n i m u m of four years of English-only schooling, using standardized and holistic measures. Grade Point Averages (GPA) were calculated for students' achievement i n four academic subjects. Analysis by A N O V A showed a significant difference i n the length of time spent i n ESL due to years of previous English study (F (7,43) = 4.26, p = .0012). Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated to observe relationships between L i literacy and time spent i n ESL, L I education and time spent i n ESL, and L2 reading and writing and achievement i n English, social studies, science and math.  Significant relationships were found  between proficiency i n L2 reading and w r i t i n g and academic achievement, as measured by G P A . Significant findings were also obtained for L i literacy and time spent i n E S L (-.33, p < .05). Orthographic similarity was not a predictor of L2 reading, as measured on a standardized test of reading comprehension (t = .105, p = .747). Results of the study showed that L i literacy development, L i schooling, and previous English study enhanced acquisition of English, as measured by time spent  i n ESL. The researcher concluded that L i literacy and education are important factors affecting the rate and level of L2 proficiency attained and academic achievement.  Implications from findings suggest that i n schooling where the  language of instruction is English, students w h o have not acquired literacy skills i n L i have different needs and face a greater challenge than students w h o are literate inLi.  T A B L E OF C O N T E N T S  A b s t r a c t  ii  T a b e l of C o n t e n t s  iv  L i s t of T a b e ls  viii  A c k n o w e ld g m e n t s  x  D e d i c a t i o n C h a p t e r One  xi -I n t r o d u c t i o n  1  Statement of the Problem  1  Background of the Problem  1  Hypotheses  4  Previous Education i n L I  4  L I Literacy  4  L 2 Literacy and Academic Achievement  5  Definition of Terms  5  Limitations of the Study  7  C h a p t e r Two  -R e v e iw of the  L i t e r a t u r e  8  Introduction  8  Linguistic Interdependence Hypothesis  10  C o m m o n Underlying Proficiency M o d e l  11  iv  Academic Achievement  13  Factors Affecting Academic Achievement i n an L 2 Environment  14  Age  14  Length of Residence  14  First Language  16  L I Literacy and Education  17  Orthography and Reading Strategies  18  Knowledge of English  19  Summary and Conclusion C h a p t e rT h r e e-D e s g i n and  19 M e t h o d o o lg y  21  Introduction  21  Subjects  21  Sample-Selection Procedure  22  Instruments  22  I. Baseline Data (on arrival)  23  II. Interview (1996)  26  III. Assessment (1996)  26  IV. Academic Achievement  28  Procedures Data Collection  28 28  Scoring Procedures  30  Analyses  32  Limitations  Chapter Four - Results of the Study  32  34  Introduction  34  Participants  34  Demographic Data Hypotheses  34 38  Previous Education i n L I  39  L I Schooling and Academic Achievement  44  L I Literacy Hypotheses  48  L 2 Literacy and Academic Achievement  56  Study Habits  59  Reading  61  Writing  68  Students' Perceptions of ESL classes and what helped them to learn English  71  Summary  79  Chapter Five - Results and Discussion  81  Introduction  81  Problem  81  Background  81  Study  84  Participants  86 vi  Findings and Discussion  86  Previous Education i n L I  87  Previous English Study  89  L I Literacy  89  L2 Literacy and Academic Achievement  92  Summary and Conclusion  94  Limitations  96  Suggestions for Further Study  97  References  98  APPENDIX 1 - Interview Protocol  103  APPENDIX 2 - First Languages Considered Orthographically Similar to and Different From English  105  LIST O F T A B L E S  Table 1:  Data Collection Instruments  24  Table 2:  Gender of Participants  35  Table 3:  Years of L2-Only Schooling i n Vancouver  35  Table 4:  Frequency of Students' First Languages  36  Table 5:  Frequency of Students' Countries of Origin  37  Table 6:  Immigration Status of Students' Families  38  Table 7:  Frequency of Years of L I Schooling  41  Table 8:  Frequency of Different Types of L I Schools  41  Table 9:  Frequency of Years in ESL  42  Table 10:  Demographics of Early and Late Exit Groups from ESL  43  Table 11:  Relationships between Years of L I Schooling and Academic Achievement  Table 12:  45  Relationships between Years i n ESL and Academic Achievement  46  Table 13:  Years of English Study in L I  47  Table 14:  Students' Perceptions of their Dominant Language for Speaking, Reading and Writing  Table 15:  Table 16:  49  Means and Standard Deviations for Performance o n L I Compositions  50  Students' Preferred School Subjects  59  viii  Table 17:  Reading Practices  Table 18:  Means and Standard Deviations on Standardized Tests of  60  Reading Comprehension  63  Table 19:  Percentage of Students Reading A t Different Grade Levels  64  Table 20:  M e a n Change i n Reading Comprehension by Grade Level  64  Table 21:  Relationships between Performance on L 2 Written Composition and Academic Achievement  Table 22:  65  Relationship Between Performance i n M a t h and Performance in Science, Social Studies, English and L 2 Reading and Writing  66  Table 23:  Frequency Distribution for Students' Performance i n M a t h  67  Table 24:  Means and Standard Deviations for Performance on L I and  Table 25:  L2 Compositions  69  Frequencies of Students' Scores on L I and L 2 Compositions  70  ix  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  There are many people w h o contributed their w i s d o m , time and support to help me complete this thesis. To D r . Lee Gunderson, m y advisor and mentor, I extend m y most sincere thanks for his inspiration and endless patience. I w i s h to express my gratitude to my committee members, Dr. Kenneth Slade and D r . G l o r i a Tang w h o took time from their busy schedules to read m y thesis. Thank you. I w o u l d like to thank Catherine E d d y and all of the staff at the Oakridge Reception and Orientation Centre for their support and friendship. To Sharon Reid of the Vancouver School Board I express appreciation for permission to conduct this study. I w o u l d like to gratefully acknowledge the teachers and administrators in the Vancouver School District who offered their time and efforts to this study. I wish to extend a special thanks to Herjit Dhanoa, Janet M c K a r r o n and the Multicultural Home School Workers who helped read the compositions. To L i a m H e l m e r I extend m y deepest appreciation for answering all my computer questions. Thanks, Liam, for rescuing me. To all the students who shared their experiences and thoughts, I thank you. I w o u l d especially like to thank Lanna, Brooke and A s u k a for understanding that M o m can be a student too.  x  This thesis is dedicated to ESL students: past, present and future.  CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION  Statement of the Problem Immigrant and refugee students enrolling i n many N o r t h American schools face the daunting task of learning English at the same time they need to use English to learn the curriculum. Learning to read i n a second language (L2) is vital to the academic success of English as a second language (ESL) students. Indeed, research findings show that E S L students commonly read at a level two or more years b e h i n d their native E n g l i s h speaking peers ( C u m m i n s , 1981a; E a r l y 1989; Gunderson, 1995a). M u c h of what we know about the process of learning to read i n L2 is adopted from research findings of studies of first language (Li) reading. Such research does not account for the diversity of nonnative E n g l i s h speakers' backgrounds.  In particular, L\ literacy and educational variables present a  composite that affects the process of learning to read i n L2 and, consequently, academic success.  H o w e v e r , there is little research that examines the role of  background variables i n L2 reading.  Background of the Problem Over the past two to three decades m u c h research has been devoted to developing models or theories of L2 acquisition. These range from linguistic analyses of the language acquisition process, to factors that affect the learner, to language socialization. Theories of L2 academic development are complicated by the number and complexity of factors involved. Learning to read i n L2 is critical to ESL students' academic success, print being the m e d i u m through w h i c h most 1  academic information is conveyed. Students' I4 literacy and their educational background experiences are important factors affecting the rate and length of time needed to acquire proficiency i n L2 and to succeed i n school, intellectually and socially.  H o w e v e r , the relationship between E S L students' L i literacy and  educational backgrounds and their reading achievement i n L2 and school success is not well understood. Research has produced findings that identify and describe the effect of several factors o n L-2 acquisition and school success. For instance, findings from a study of 1,548 middle to upper class ESL learners (Collier, 1987) investigating the effect of age on arrival ( A O A ) on academic achievement suggest that younger learners (ages 5-7) have a definite advantage over older learners (ages 12 - 15). C h i l d r e n a r r i v i n g between the ages of eight and eleven showed the highest prospect for achieving linguistically and academically i n L2. A second major influencing factor is the length of time a student resides i n the L2 environment. It takes ESL students on average, from five to eight years (Cummins, 1981a; Collier, 1987) to acquire proficiency i n English sufficient to allow them to compete w i t h their native English speaking peers. These two studies, n o w considered classics i n the field, neglect to account for students' literacy or educational histories, however. M o r e recent findings show that the number of years of schooling i n L i and students' cognitive development i n L I affect the length of time it takes ESL students to achieve grade level performance (Collier, 1994). Students' prior education (Coelho, 1994; Cummins, 1979), L i literacy (Piper, 1993; Robson, 1981; Sinclair, 1995; Weinstein, 1984) a n d p r e v i o u s E n g l i s h instruction (Coelho, 1994; Gunderson, 1995b) are theoretically predictive of successful L2 acquisition and academic achievement. The research delineating the role of these factors i n the L2 acquisition process is, however, ambiguous.  A  student's proficiency i n L i is very important - particularly proficiency i n the kind of  2  language used i n school:  academic language proficiency ( C u m m i n s , 1979).  Students whose L i academic language proficiency is w e l l developed require less time to acquire academic linguistic proficiency i n L-2 than students whose facility w i t h L i academic language is not well developed. This interdependence of I4 and L2 academic language suggests the positive effects of L i education on L2 acquisition and academic success. Research has also shown that the ability to read i n L i exerts a powerful influence on L2 acquisition. In fact, research findings of a study of adult L2 learners showed that literacy i n L4 was a more significant factor than formal education i n predicting the success H m o n g native speaking adult learners had i n acquiring English (Robson, 1981; Weinstein, 1984). Furthermore, some researchers believe that the degree of similarity between L i and L2 contributes to the ease or speed w i t h w h i c h students become proficient i n L2 (Adams, 1980 i n Bernhardt, 1991; Genesse, 1979 i n C u m m i n s 1979). Others (Piper, 1993) contend that "what is important is not the language of literacy but the fact of it" (p. 310). Despite extensive studies of L2 acquisition, research does not provide a clear picture of the developmental nature of L2 reading. In addition, it does not explain the predictive value of students' literacy and educational backgrounds i n their I4. A n understanding of the role of I4 literacy and educational variables on L2 reading acquisition is critical to developing a L2 literacy model. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to contribute to the development of such a model. In this investigation I propose to: 1) examine the relationship between years of schooling i n L i and the length of time spent i n ESL classes; 2) examine the effect of previous English instruction on the length of time spent in ESL classes;  3  3) investigate orthographic similarity/difference between L i and L2 and the nature of L2 reading development; 4) observe changes i n the development of L-2 reading (over four to seven years); 5) describe ESL students' reading habits i n L i and L2; and 6) identify and describe some factors restricting academic achievement i n L2, as perceived by ESL learners.  Hypotheses  Previous Education i n L i : Previous Education i n L i hypotheses include: 1) students w h o have been educated i n L i prior to immigrating w i l l spend less time i n ESL classes than students whose L i education has been unduly interrupted or who have had no previous schooling i n L i ; 2) students w h o have had previous English instruction i n their home country prior to enrolling i n an L2 only program spend less time i n ESL classes than students w h o have had no previous English instruction.  L i Literacy: L i Literacy hypotheses include: 1) L2 reading performance of students w h o were literate i n L i at the time of arrival and have maintained literacy i n L i w i l l be superior to that of students w h o have not maintained L\ literacy skills;  2)  orthographic similarity is not a predictor of L2 reading achievement.  4  LO L i t e r a c y and  A c a d e m c i A c h e iv e m e n t  It is proposed i n this study that students w h o have well-developed expressive language skills w i l l be more successful academically than students w h o have not developed expressive language skills. It is predicted i n this study that L i schooling is a more powerful predictor than L i literacy, followed by previous English instruction and lastly, orthographic similarity or difference.  D e f i n i t i o n of T e r m s  The following definitions apply to the terms used i n this study: age  on a r r i v a l  the student's age at the time s/he arrives in the host country. ( b a s i c ) i n t e r p e r s o n a la ln g u a g es k i l l s ( B C I s )  that language used i n face-to-face conversation, including oral fluency and phonology. ( c o g n i t i v e ) a c a d e m c i a ln g u a g ep r o f i c i e n c y  context-reduced, cognitively demanding language commonly used i n instruction and school texts, including syntax, morphology, vocabulary and reading comprehension C o m m o nU n d e r l y i n gP r o f i c i e n c y  (CUP)  those aspects of an individual's first and L2 that are common or shared, usually referring to cognitively demanding academic or literacy-related knowledge. d o m n ia n ta ln g u a g e  the language i n which the student is most fluent. C o m m o n l y the 5  language used most frequently by the individual. For example, a Vietnamese student may have learned C h i u C h o w first, followed by Vietnamese and then English. She seldom speaks C h i u C h o w ; she speaks Vietnamese w i t h her family, most relatives and her friends. She speaks English only at school. Vietnamese is her dominant language. E n g l i s h as a s e c o n da ln g u a g e (ESL)  refers to English when it is not the first language learned. Indeed, English may be the third or fourth language a student learns. E n g l i s h as a s e c o n da ln g u a g es t u d e n t  a student recognized by the Vancouver School Board as speaking a language other than English i n the home and, or whose academic program consists of 50% or more ESL courses. E n g l i s h o n l ys c h o o n i l g (L2 s c h o o n i lg )  schooling i n which the language of instruction is English f i r s ta ln g u a g e (Li)  chronologically the first language learned. l e n g t h of r e s d ie n c e  the time an ESL student has resided i n the host country. L2 s c h o o n i lg  see English-only schooling LEP  Limited English Proficient: the American equivalent for the Canadian term English as a Second Language l i t e r a c y  refers to reading and writing.  n a t i v ea ln g u a g e  the language spoken i n the home before immigrating to Canada p r m i a r ya ln g u a g e  see native language s e c o n da ln g u a g e (L2)  i n this study, L-2 refers to English. s e c o n da ln g u a g ea c q u i s i t i o n  the process of acquiring English when English is not the native language.  L i m i t a t i o n s of the S t u d y  This study observed the reading development and academic achievement of fifty-five E S L students i n the Vancouver, British C o l u m b i a School District. A l l participants were between the ages of eight and twelve years at the time they enrolled i n the Vancouver School District. A l l participants had attended schools i n this district for four to seven years. The sample selected is reflective of students w h o meet these criteria. Generalizations to student populations from different districts and w i t h different A O A and L O R requires further research and should be made w i t h caution.  7  CHAPTER TWO REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE  Introduction In this chapter I develop the notions introduced i n chapter one. First, I review the literature and research studies related to L 2 literacy development. Second, I address  the major factors influencing E S L students'  academic  achievement i n English (L2) schooling. Finally, I propose a need for tracking studies to inform a model of L2 reading development. The most critical task facing school-age L2 learners i n the United States and Canada is learning to read i n E n g l i s h (Collier, 1987; G u n d e r s o n , 1995a,b; Verhoeven, 1990; Wong-Filmore, 1983). Learning to read i n English is central to L2 learners' academic success. "Language is the focus of every content-area task, w i t h all meaning and a l l demonstration of knowledge expressed through oral and written forms of language" (Collier, 1987).  To date, theories of L2 reading  instruction are based largely on theories and models of the L i reading process. Grabe (1991) suggests that " A primary goal for ESL reading theory and instruction is to understand what fluent L i readers do, then how best to move ESL students in that developmental direction" (p. 378). This is an oversimplification of a highly complex process, however.  There are many factors that affect the process of  learning to read i n L2 that distinguish L2 readers from L i readers. Second language learners represent an array of cultural, linguistic and educational experiences, all of which affect learning to read i n L2- The most salient characteristic distinguishing L2 learners from L i learners is that L2 learners have already developed some level of oral proficiency i n their L i and possibly literacy  8  skills as w e l l .  Learners' knowledge of their L i greatly affects the process of  acquiring L2-  Research shows that cognitive development and the level of  proficiency attained i n L2 is partially a function of L i proficiency (Collier, 1989; Cummins, 1979, 1981; Skutnabb-Kangas & Toukomaa, 1976). Learners w i t h welldeveloped L i cognitive abilities appear to learn at a faster rate and attain higher levels of proficiency i n L2 than learners who have not acquired sufficient levels of proficiency i n L i .  The Threshold Hypothesis (Cummins, 1979, 1986) holds that  "there may be threshold levels of linguistic competence w h i c h bilingual children must attain i n their first and second languages both i n order to avoid cognitive disadvantages and to allow the potentially beneficial aspects of becoming bilingual to influence cognitive functioning" (p. 6). This hypothesis grew mainly from findings of a study of Finnish migrant workers' children's cognitive development (Skutnabb-Kangas & Toukomaa, 1976). Researchers observed that older children were more effective L2 learners than younger children. O l d e r children whose proficiency i n L i was well developed at the time they were exposed to L2 acquired L2 faster and attained higher levels of L2 proficiency than children whose L i was not w e l l developed at the time they began learning L2- Furthermore, children whose proficiency i n L i was limited at the time intensive exposure to L2 began and did not continue to develop L i during the L2 acquisition process, d i d not develop cognitive skills sufficiently to cope w i t h school tasks that required facility w i t h abstract or cognitively demanding language. The authors concluded that the extent to w h i c h the mother tongue had been developed prior to contact w i t h L2 was strongly related to how well L2 was learned. Continued cognitive development i n L l d u r i n g L2 acquisition enhances cognitive growth and high levels of proficiency in L2- Lambert (1977) describes the positive effect on learning L2 of continuing to develop proficiency i n L l as additive b i l i n g u a l i s m and the negative effect on cognitive g r o w t h and the level of  9  proficiency attained i n L 2 resulting from insufficient L i development as subtractive bilingualism. The notion of additive and subtractive bilingualism is delineated by the two thresholds of the Threshold Hypothesis. The first threshold is that below which cognitive growth is impeded without L i linguistic development. The second threshold is that above w h i c h cognitive development is enhanced. Therefore, the Threshold Hypothesis explains the advantages to bilingual learners of maintaining L i development while acquiring L2 and cautions of possible cognitive deficits that may result from learning L2 at the expense of L i , i.e., replacing L i w i t h L2, proposing that the level of proficiency developed i n L i greatly affects the propensity for acquiring L2 and overall cognitive development. The relationship between I4 and L-2 linguistic ability is explained by the Linguistic Interdependence Hypothesis (Cummins, 1979; 1986) and the C o m m o n Underlying Proficiency M o d e l (Cummins, 1986).  L i n g u i s t i cn It e r d e p e n d e n c eH y p o t h e s s i  The Linguistic Interdependence Hypothesis (LIH) predicts that cognitive and linguistic development i n L2 is partially a function of the level of cognitive development i n L i (Cummins, 1979, 1986; Skutnabb-Kangas & Toukomaa, 1976). The L I H claims that there is a dimension of language proficiency that is common to, or interdependent across languages.  That is, there are features or aspects of  language proficiency that are interdependent and can transfer across linguistic systems. Thus, the L I H posits that well-developed proficiency i n L i theoretically enhances the level of proficiency and cognitive development attained i n L2. The L I H promotes the continued development of L i proficiency while acquiring L2. C u m m i n s hypothesizes that there are positive advantages to L2 learners who continue to develop linguistic ability (as used by Cummins, 1981b, to refer to "the ability to use language as an instrument of thought, and includes such 10  things as reading skills, vocabulary and concept knowledge") i n L l while acquiring L2- The empirical support for this hypothesis is based largely on the academic performance of students enrolled i n bilingual programs. Research findings show that students enrolled i n bilingual programs where the language of instruction is in L 2 (i.e., the language of instruction is different from the home language) d i d as well, or better, on tests written i n L i than their peers receiving instruction in their native language (Swain, 1986; Swain & Lapkin, 1982). Conversely, Wong-Filmore (1983) found that "the use of L i enhances conceptual development, even when it is tested through the m e d i u m of L2-" These findings suggest that cognitively demanding concepts learned i n one language transfer to other languages w i t h no deleterious effects to either language, confirming the L I H .  C o m m o nU n d e r l y i n gP r o f i c i e n c yM o d e l  The C o m m o n Underlying Proficiency (CUP) model illustrates the concept of interlingual transfer posited b y the L I H . The C U P model provides a framework illustrating the transfer of some aspects of language proficiency but not others. Inherent i n the C U P model is C u m m i n s ' construct of language proficiency (1979, 1981a,b,c, 1984, 1986). C u m m i n s (1986) notes that "not all aspects of language proficiency [are] related to literacy" (p. 29) and therefore, he posits a construct of language proficiency that comprises two categories of proficiency:  Basic  Interpersonal Communicative Skills and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (Cummins, 1979, 1981a,b,c, 1984, 1986). The former considers the "cognitively u n d e m a n d i n g manifestations of language proficiency used i n interpersonal situations"; the latter accounts for "literacy-related language skills." The  first  category  of language  p r o f i c i e n c y , Basic  Interpersonal  Communicative Skills or BICs, refers to the oral aspects of language including phonology and fluency, used to communicate i n context-embedded situations such 11  as face-to-face conversation. The second category, Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency ( C A L P ) refers to aspects of language proficiency used i n contextreduced situations i n w h i c h interlocutors rely mainly on linguistic cues to convey meaning.  Edelsky et al. (1983) contest the B I C s / C A L P construct of language  proficiency claiming that it has discriminating consequences.  They believe that  "proficiency i n using authentic and varied texts is an extension of communicative competence, not a separate entity, that any variety used interpersonally has the potential for becoming more varied and also useful for literacy through appropriate educational (or, occasionally, societal) activity" (p. 12, emphasis i n original). Edelsky et al. claim that C u m m i n s ' false distinction of two categories of language proficiency does not measure students' linguistic proficiency i n L2, rather it measures their familiarity w i t h school - i n any language - and their knowledge of the culture of testing. Despite occasional criticism, however, C u m m i n s ' theoretical model of two categories of language proficiency has become widely accepted i n the field of bilingual education and has profoundly influenced programs and policy concerning the expectations of how long students require language support and the care w i t h which test results should be interpreted. Research (Collier, 1987; C u m m i n s , 1981a) shows that ESL learners acquire BICs faster than C A L P . It takes approximately two years for learners to acquire the linguistic skills needed to communicate proficiently i n context embedded, face to face situations. M o r e time, five or more years, is needed for students to become proficient i n L2 sufficient to allow them to deal w i t h the linguistically demanding aspects of oral and written language used i n context reduced situations such as the classroom. Clearly not a l l aspects of language are cross-lingual (Cummins & Swain, 1986). The obviously different oral aspects of language used i n personal encounters and everyday language are linguistically dependent. BICs, that is, does not transfer  12  across languages. C A L P , on the other hand, is a dimension of language proficiency believed to be common across languages. That is, it is the language associated with cognitive development ( C A L P ) w h i c h concerns researchers studying language transfer and L2 development as it relates to academic achievement. Aspects of language proficiency that are c o m m o n across languages, for which interlingual transfer occurs, are those characteristics of proficiency related to higher order thinking, cognitive functioning and academic language such as that commonly used i n texts. Although the notion of BICs and C A L P has been criticized (Edelsky, et al. 1983) as an oversimplification of the phenomenon it seeks to describe, it has nevertheless provided a conceptual framework for research i n L2 literacy. Findings of many research studies (Carson et a l , 1990; C u m m i n s , 1981a; Collier, 1987, 1994; Royer & Carlo, 1991; Verhoeven, 1990) have been interpreted within the context of the C U P model using the B I C s / C A L P construct and provide empirical support that interlingual transfer occurs.  Academic Achievement There are many factors that influence ESL learners' academic achievement i n an L2 environment. These factors include: the learner's age at the time intensive exposure to L2 begins, the length of time the learner resides i n the L2 environment, proficiency i n L i , L l literacy, previous instruction i n English, number of years of schooling i n L i and affective factors such as motivation to learn L2 and identity with the dominant culture.  13  F a c t o r sA f f e c t i n gA c a d e m c i A c h e iv e m e n t in an L? E n v r i o n m e n t  Age  Early studies of L 2 acquisition focused largely on the relationships among age, rate and level of attainment i n L-2 (Collier, 1987,1989; C u m m i n s , 1979, 1981a; Krashen, L o n g & Scarcella, 1979; Skutnabb-Kangas & Toukomaa, 1976). Research findings have shown that while younger learners achieved more native-like fluency than older learners, older learners acquired proficiency i n L 2 syntax and morphology at a quicker rate than younger learners (Krashen, L o n g & Scarcella, 1979). Findings from studies (Collier, 1987; Cummins, 1981a) where the purpose of acquiring L 2 was to use it as a tool for learning i n school has shown that it may take eight years, on average, or more for ESL learners to reach grade-level performance on standardized tests. Collier's (1987) study of 1,548 American immigrant students showed that students arriving at ages eight to eleven were the quickest to reach the 50th N C E on standardized tests of reading, social studies, and science, i.e., they were the quickest to acquire C A L P . Younger students age on arrival ( A O A ) 5 - 7 took longer, two to three years more than students A O A 8 - 1 1 . Students A O A 12 15 took the longest. They d i d not achieve the 50th N C E i n any subject are except math after four to five years residence i n the host country.  L e n g t h of Residence A similar study (Cummins, 1981a) found that more significant than the age factor on L 2 achievement was the length of time an individual had resided i n the host country. Cummins' reanalysis of data collected on 1,210 Canadian immigrant students' school performance showed that it may take as long as five years for students to approach grade level norms, as measured on standardized tests.  14  C u m m i n s concluded that the effect of length of residence (LOR) on academic achievement was independent of age on arrival as "there are several instances where an age on arrival group which has spent less time i n Canada performs better than one w h i c h has been i n Canada longer" (p.145). H e explains this crossover effect by saying that L O R "ceased to have a major effect" (p.145) after approximately five years.  C u m m i n s observed that w h i l e older learners' performance on  standardized tests was below the norm for their grade level, their rate of absolute growth was noticeably higher than that of younger students. H e attributed older L2 learners' superior performance on school tests to their higher levels of L i linguistic and cognitive development. A more recent study (Gunderson, 1995a) of ESL learners' reading achievement showed that three years after enrolling i n a l l English schooling, ESL learners at all grade levels were reading two to three years behind their native English speaking peers. Indeed, 91% of the ESL students in this study required English language support. Students required more than three years to acquire the skills they need to participate in age-appropriate academic classes. It is not clear i n these studies what the characteristics of the participants were, as the authors p r o v i d e d little demographic information.  Cummins'  explanation for older students' superior performance, i n keeping w i t h the L I H , i m p l i e d that they had attended school i n L i before enrolling i n all-English schooling. Gunderson (1995a) interpreted secondary students higher scores i n grammatical knowledge as "suggesting that they c o u l d a p p l y their formal knowledge of their L i s to English" (p. 7). Collier noted that participants i n her study were 'advantaged' i n that they had "strong educational backgrounds in their first languages" (p. 621). She noted further that "they had little or no proficiency i n English u p o n entry into schooling all i n English" (p. 622). Findings from each of these studies showed clearly that it takes considerable time for L2 learners enrolled in L2 schooling to acquire sufficient academic language proficiency to allow them  15  to perform at a level commensurate w i t h their same-age peers. Large scale studies such as these provide valuable information about trends and patterns of E S L learners' academic achievement i n L2 schooling. Research findings from these studies have been h i g h l y influential i n shaping policy and programs for E S L instruction. They do not, nor d i d they intend to, provide specific information about learners' backgrounds:  their L i s , L i literacy-related experiences, previous  educational experiences, knowledge of English before enrolling i n English-only programs or their interests, and the effect these variables have on school success. Although many researchers w o u l d agree that background variables such as these are likely to influence students' rates and levels of success at acquiring academic language proficiency, there is no empirical support that I k n o w of for such hypotheses.  First Language A s noted earlier i n this paper (p. 2), continued use and development of L i d u r i n g the L2 acquisition process are important factors affecting students' L2 reading development and school success. Indeed, maintaining L i development is, perhaps, the single most effective means k n o w n of supporting L2 and cognitive growth (Collier, 1987, 1994; C u m m i n s , 1984; C u m m i n s & Swain, 1986; SavilleTroike, 1984). It takes a long time to develop the proficiency i n L2 academic language needed to achieve academically. It seems that facility w i t h L i literacy skills bestows certain advantages on learners acquiring L2 academic language. Learners apply knowledge and literacy skills developed i n L i to L2, leading to increased cognitive development.  16  Li L i t e r a c y and E d u c a t o in  Research has shown that there are substantial benefits to adult and child L 2 learners w h o have literacy and educational experiences i n their L i (Coelho, 1994; Collier, 1987; Handscombe, 1994; Piper, 1993; Robson, 1981). Robson's (1981) study of the effects of literacy and education i n L i on adult H m o n g learners' L 2 development showed that literacy i n L i was a more significant factor than L i education. Similarly, Piper (1993) reports that ESL children's acquisition of reading in L2 was enhanced by their familiarity w i t h print and storybook reading i n their L i s . Verhoeven (1990) found that primary-aged children learning to read i n L 2 relied on many of the same strategies as their peers learning to read i n their L i s . Nevertheless, the children acquiring reading i n L 2 were less efficient than their peers learning to read i n L l . It is likely that, due to their age, the L 2 learners had not yet acquired literacy skills i n their L l , therefore requiring that they attempt the triple task (Handscombe, 1994) of learning:  (1) the functions of literacy, (2) the  mechanics of reading and writing and, (3) to do this i n L2, a formidable task to be sure. There is a noticeable lack of empirical research documenting L 2 reading development for students from low-literacy backgrounds (Hamayan, 1994). Researchers (Coelho, 1994; Collier, 1989; Early, 1992; Handscombe, 1994; Hamayan, 1994) hypothesize that c h i l d r e n w h o have not had many literacy-related experiences are likely to have a difficult time i n school. N o t only do they have a second language w i t h which to contend, but also they have to learn about school culture, to develop some notion of books, study and test taking, "there is a lot of knowing about literacy w h i c h is not explicitly taught but w h i c h a child i n a highly literate culture has been inducted into, even before going to school . . . it is this knowing about literacy w h i c h learners not literate i n their L i may also have to learn when attempting a second language" (Barton, 1992 p. 7, emphasis i n original).  17  Collier (1989) generalizes from her synthesis of studies examining students' acquisition of L2 for school purposes that "young arrivals w i t h no schooling i n their first language i n either their home country or the host country may take ... as long as seven to ten years ... to reach the level of performance by native speakers on L2 standardized tests [of] reading, social studies and science, or indeed never" (p. 527). Early's study (1992) "Aspects of becoming an academically successful E S L student", revealed that of 15 students identified by their teachers as 'successful', only one had experienced interruptions i n her schooling. However, almost half the students identified as 'less successful' had experienced interrupted schooling i n L i .  O r t h o g r a p h y and  R e a d n ig S t r a t e g e is  Research does not provide a clear picture of the specific aspects of literacy in one language that enhance literacy development i n L2. Bernhardt (1991) notes that "the distinction between first and second language reading processes, appears, first, among readers w h o are already literate in one language and try to become literate in another" (p. 76). Genesse (1979, cited i n C u m m i n s , 1979 p. 199) proposes that interlingual transfer is more evident between similar languages than between dissimilar languages.  H e suggests that there is more 'overlap of the processing  mechanisms' w h e n L i and L2 are similar. Adams (1980, cited i n Bernhardt, 1991 p. 76) notes that orthographic regularity has a positive effect on a reader's encoding ability. It may be, as Genesse suggests, that different languages - particularly those w i t h different orthographic systems - use different processes of m a k i n g meaning from print; or, perhaps once having learned to read i n L i , it is simply a matter of transferring reading skills from L i to L2- Bernhardt (1991) found that "Highly proficient nonnatives employed processing strategies more akin to native strategies than the less proficient readers w h o employed L i processing strategies" (p. 52). Saville-Troike (1984), on the other hand, observed that students whose L i was  18  orthographically dissimilar to L2 used different strategies to infer the meaning of unfamiliar words than students whose L l was orthographically similar to L2. She also writes of "an Israeli boy w h o had difficulty reading Hebrew but ... d i d very well i n learning to read English" (p. 214). Clearly the research evidence around issues of orthography and reading strategies is controversial and under explored.  Knowledge of E n g l i s h Despite what research has to say about the many factors affecting L2 acquisition and academic achievement, L2 learners are generally placed i n programs according to their proficiency i n English. Students w i t h some knowledge of English are likely to feel more confident about learning i n an environment where English (L2) is the language of the curriculum (Coelho, 1994). However, how much experience w i t h English makes a difference on students' achievement has not been studied.  G u n d e r s o n (1995b) conducted a study of 100 randomly selected L2  learners' background variables. H e found that approximately 25% of students had some knowledge of E n g l i s h before enrolling i n L2-only programs.  H e also  observed that variables such as the ability to name the letters of the alphabet, k n o w n to be predictive of reading achievement for native English speakers, were not highly predictive of reading achievement i n English for L2 learners. Moreover, analysis of students' scores on a variety of oral and written measures of English proficiency suggests that there are two factors, a comprehension and a recognition factor involved i n the process of L2 reading development.  Summary and Conclusion Research on L2 acquisition and school success has been a m i x of crosssectional studies that look at groups of students w i t h diverse background experiences including literacy-related experiences, L i , age, educational experiences, 19  and interests, or longitudinal studies that observe performance at different phases of students' L2 development, using a variety of measures and tests, or case studies that provide rich descriptions of individuals' developmental processes but, are "inconsistent i n their objectives, observations and purpose" (Piper, 1993, p. 138). Bernhardt (1991) notes that research findings make inferences about L2 reading development but do not trace it. She recommends that to study the developmental process of L2 reading, there is a need for tracking studies that provide detailed descriptions about the learners, their backgrounds, L4, age, educational and literacy experiences and, L4 and L-2 proficiency levels. A theory or model of L2 reading development must account for individuals' development at any stage i n that development. Such a model is based on research findings of both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies; that is, tracking studies for a k n o w n population i n a k n o w n context.  20  CHAPTER THREE DESIGN A N D M E T H O D O L O G Y  Introduction The present study investigated immigrant and refugee students' L2 reading comprehension and academic achievement. The study described the relationships among ESL students' L i literacy and educational backgrounds and their academic performance i n L2. A l s o , a qualitative methodological approach was used to understand more about the social and personal nature of students' experiences as learners of language and academics i n an L2 setting.  Subjects The study was conducted i n the Vancouver School District, Vancouver, British Columbia. There are eighteen secondary schools in the district w i t h an ESL p o p u l a t i o n c o m p r i s i n g approximately 39% of the total secondary student population (Form 1701,1995-6). The cultural and linguistic profile of schools varies throughout the district. English is the majority language i n some schools while in others, most of the students share a common L i other than English.  In some  schools there may be more than ten different L i s spoken, i.e., there is no majority language.  Similarly, the socioeconomic status of students' families also varies.  There are students from families w i t h upper, middle and lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Immigration status of ESL students' families generally reflects their socioeconomic status.  Immigration status ranges from that of diplomat to  entrepreneur to landed immigrant to refugee.  21  Subjects were selected if they had registered i n the Vancouver School District between 1990 and 1993 and were between the ages of eight and twelve at the time they registered. criteria.  The school district p r o v i d e d a list of students w h o met these  Subjects were selected if their names were on this list and they had  remained i n the Vancouver School District since registration. A l l participants were enrolled i n grades eight to eleven at the time of the study.  Sample-Selection Procedure To obtain a sample of schools representative of the school district, the researcher selected seven high schools from a cross-section of the Vancouver School District. The researcher arranged to meet w i t h school administrators from selected schools to explain the study and to invite participation. A l l agreed to participate i n the study. In all but two of the selected schools, Cantonese and M a n d a r i n were the predominant L i s spoken i n the schools. English was the predominant L i i n the other two schools. Therefore, letters explaining the study i n English and Chinese and permission forms were sent to students' parents. Those w h o agreed to have their children participate signed consent forms. By the end of the study fifty-five students had agreed to participate.  Instruments Six instruments were used to collect data i n four categories (Table One). The first category of data was baseline data collected at the Oakridge Reception and Orientation Centre (OROC) at the time students registered i n the district, before they were enrolled. Data i n the second and third categories, interview and assessment data, were collected i n schools between January and June 1996. Five  22  instruments were used:  a semi-structured  interview protocol, the Passage  Comprehension subtest of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests/Form A (1973), grade-level, standardized, criterion-based M a t h tests and holistically scored first and second language compositions.  Students' final grades for the 1995-6 school  year provided the fourth category of data, academic achievement.  I. Baseline Data (on arrival)  Interview Families enrolling students new to the Vancouver School District are interviewed i n their L i s by O R O C staff, M u l t i c u l t u r a l H o m e School Workers (employees of the Vancouver School Board) or trained translators. Interviewers use a structured interview protocol developed collaboratively by receiving elementary and secondary teachers, Multicultural H o m e School Workers and O R O C staff. The interview schedule was designed to collect information concerning students' developmental, educational and family histories.  Developmental information  includes data such as: date of birth, gender, immigration status, language spoken at home, dominant language and L2- Educational background includes:  information  age first enrolled i n school, type of school, country, language of  instruction, hours of instruction per day, number of days per week, class size, favourite school subjects, least favourite school subjects, number of hours and years of English study. The family questionnaire provides information about the names and number of countries i n which the student has resided  23  Table 1 Data Collection Instruments  Category  Type of Data/Year  Instruments  I  Baseline data (1990 -1993)  • 53 item structured interview protocol ( L i ) • passage comprehension subtest H (WRMT-R,1987) • Curriculum Associates M a t h Test • L l written composition (no Prompts) • L 2 written composition (prompts)  II  Interview data (1996)  • 28 item semi-structured interview protocol  III  Assessment data (1996)  IV  Academic achievement (1996)  • passage comprehension subtest Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests/Form A (1973) • grade appropriate math tests • L i written composition (no prompts) • L2 written composition (prompts)  • final grades for the 1996 school year  Assessment Students' English reading, Math, and first and second language writing were assessed using a battery of standardized and holistically scored measures. Reading  The Woodcock Passage Comprehension H subtest (Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests - Revised) is a modified cloze procedure designed to measure k n o w l e d g e of vocabulary a n d reading comprehension for students from Kindergarten to grade 16 (Woodcock, 1987). The test comprises sixty-eight questions of increasing difficulty w i t h picture cues to accompany approximately the first one-third of the questions. Each question is from one to three sentences in length w i t h one blank per question. The questions are designed so that students are unable to restore the deletion m a k i n g inferences from o n l y the words immediately surrounding the deletion. Students must read the complete sentence or series of sentences to restore the deleted w o r d . Therefore, restoration of the missing w o r d suggests that students have comprehended the entire passage. Math  The C u r r i c u l u m Associates M a t h test, a thirty-two item standardized M a t h test, assesses the mathematics abilities of elementary school aged children. It assesses basic computational skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of decimals and simple and complex fractions.  25  Writing  Second Language (L2) composition: The English, L2, Composition comprises a sheet of lined paper w i t h five prompts. Students choose one topic on which to write and have as much time as they require to demonstrate their English writing skills. First Language ( L i ) Composition: There are no prompts for the native language, L i , composition. Students are provided w i t h only a sheet of lined paper and asked to produce a sample of writing i n their native language.  II. Interview (1996) A twenty-eight item semi-structured interview protocol was used to interview students i n English (see A p p e n d i x 1).  The interview protocol was  designed to explore students' use of first and second language, reading habits i n L i and L2 and homework patterns. It also asks for students' general opinions about student life and their plans and aspirations for the future.  III. Assessment (1996) Four instruments were used to measure students' L2 reading achievement, M a t h , L i and L2 w r i t i n g abilities. The assessment instruments were chosen to provide data congruent w i t h that collected at O R O C to allow for pre- and post-test analyses. Therefore, a different subtest of the Woodcock Passage comprehension and grade appropriate math tests were chosen. A different set of prompts was provided for the L2 written composition. The researcher opted to include both written and picture stimuli to provide students w i t h a broader range from which to display their L2 w r i t i n g abilities. Like the original L i written composition, no prompts were offered.  26  Reading  The Passage Comprehension subtest of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test/Form A (1973) was used to assess students' reading comprehension i n English. The test, a modified cloze, comprises eighty-four items of increasing difficulty. The test assesses reading comprehension levels ranging from grades one to twelve. Because students taking the test were i n grades eight to eleven, the first twenty-six questions (31%) were eliminated; the test began w i t h item number 27, estimated to be the equivalent of a m i d grade one level of reading comprehension (Woodcock, 1973). Math  Four criterion-based standardized math tests (grades 8, 9, 10 and 11) were used to assess students' mathematics abilities. District math and E S L teachers developed the tests collaboratively to include components representing the major concepts students need to k n o w to function at or above the specified grade level. A l l tests are multiple-choice. The grade eight test comprises fifteen questions; tests for grades 9,10 and 11 each have 20 questions. Writing  L? composition  The L 2 , English, composition comprises six prompts:  two written and four picture cues, each w i t h a caption. Students were asked to choose one prompt and to write a composition i n English based on the prompt. L i composition composition.  There were no prompts for the L l , native language,  Students were p r o v i d e d w i t h two sheets of l i n e d paper and  encouraged to choose a topic that was familiar to them or about w h i c h they chose to write.  27  IV. Academic Achievement The grade point average was recorded for the students' final grades i n English, communications, math, science (including biology, chemistry and physics), social studies (including history and geography), and English support classes (including ESL, English Language Centre (ELC) and transitional) for the 1995-6 school year.  Procedures  Data Collection  Baseline data Baseline data were collected and coded at O R O C as part of an ongoing study investigating the family, developmental, linguistic, and literacy backgrounds of immigrant students (Gunderson, i n progress). Four individuals recorded data from the interview protocol and assessment battery. Data were subsequently entered into a computer database. Interview (1996) The researcher interviewed students individually to gain insight into their perceptions of themselves as learners (and users) of language, L i and L2, and as members of academic and social communities. Individual student interviews were conducted from January to June 1996. i n t e r v i e w e d d u r i n g school time.  In a l l but one school, students were  The interviewer arranged  w i t h school  administrators for students to be excused from class for approximately 45 minutes to participate i n a one-on-one interview. Interviews were conducted i n a small, semi-private room, usually the medical room, a counsellor's office or the library. A t 28  the beginning of each interview session students were assured of the confidential nature of the interview. The interviewer followed a semi-structured interview protocol and recorded students' comment on the interview protocol. A t the conclusion of the interview session students were given opportunities to ask the interviewer questions, to read all notes the interviewer had written and to make any desired changes. The interview format was very flexible. Time was available if students wished to ask questions or elaborate on a given question. O n average, the interview took thirty-five minutes w i t h a range from twenty-five to sixty minutes. Assessment Follow-up assessments were conducted from January to June 1996. Formal group assessment of students' English reading comprehension, first and second language writing, and math performance occurred after school hours. For those students, less than ten, w h o had conflicts i n their schedules, special arrangements were made for them to be assessed i n d i v i d u a l l y d u r i n g school time. A l l assessments were conducted i n unoccupied classrooms or the library. Students were given all components of the assessment battery at the same time. There were no instructions regarding the order students should complete the battery; however, most students completed the tests i n the following order: reading comprehension, math, L2 composition, L i composition. Students were allowed two hours to complete the assessment. In two cases students excused themselves after approximately thirty minutes and left the session w i t h o u t c o m p l e t i n g a l l components of the assessment. The Passage C o m p r e h e n s i o n W o o d c o c k / F o r m A is designed to be administered individually. The test can be modified, however, to be administered to groups i n a written format (Tuinman, Kinzer & M u h t a d i , 1980). Students are provided w i t h a written version of the same cloze and required to replace, i.e., to  29  write i n , the missing w o r d .  This procedure was adopted to facilitate group  assessment. Academic Achievement The researcher recorded participants' final grades i n English, math, social studies (including history and geography), science (including Chemistry, Biology and Physics) and English support classes (including ESL, English Language Centre (ELC) and transitional). The grade point average for each subject was recorded. These scores were then added to the database. The researcher recorded the date at which students exited ESL. Vancouver School Board policy no longer considers students as ESL w h e n they are registered in 50% or more mainstream subjects; however, a student may still receive language support i n ESL, E L C or transitional classes after exiting ESL. The date (month and year) when a student no longer received language support of any kind (i.e., 100% of their courses were mainstream) was noted.  Scoring Procedures  Interviews Three researchers participated i n c o d i n g interview data from the L i interviews conducted on arrival. Interview data from the English interviews (1996) were coded by the interviewer. A l l interview data were recorded on Fortran sheets and entered into a computer database.  30  Assessments  Reading  The R e a d i n g comprehension tests were scored as outlined i n the manuals (Woodcock, 1979; Woodcock, 1987).  The scoring guide offers a selection of  acceptable responses for each question. It also provides a list of words that are not acceptable, thus reducing the degree of subjective m a r k i n g resulting from the examiner variable. W h e n scoring the Passage Comprehension W o o d c o c k / F o r m A , nonconventional spelling was accepted if the intended meaning was easily understood. Math  A l l math tests were scored using prescribed keys. O R O C staff marked math tests administered u p o n a r r i v a l i n the district and the researcher m a r k e d tests administered i n the spring of 1996. To account for the discrepancy i n the number of items per test (e.g., 32 items on the C u r r i c u l u m Associates M a t h Test, 15 items on the grade eight test and 20 items on the others), raw scores were converted to percentages.  Writing  Second language compositions were scored holistically on a five-point scale where 1 = poor 2 = fair 3 = average 4 = good and, 5 = very good. Raters assigned a score to the composition relative to a student's age-appropriate grade level.  Three  independent raters scored the L2 compositions written u p o n arrival i n Canada. Similarly, L 2 compositions written i n 1996 were scored using the same holistic scoring procedure and the same five-point scale. Three independent raters scored all L 2 compositions.  31  First language compositions were scored anecdotally b y O R O C staff, Multicultural H o m e School Workers or trained translators fluent i n the language i n which the composition was written. These comments were then interpreted by two (1996) or three (on arrival) raters and rated on a five-point scale (1 = "poor" 2 = "fair" 3 = "average" 4 = "good" and, 5 = "very good"). Data from interviews, test scores and school grades were coded on Fortran sheets and entered into the database.  Analyses Descriptive analyses were carried out for all data collected. Data were analyzed u s i n g quantitative and qualitative analyses to describe selected demographic characteristics of the participants and the relationships between students'  b a c k g r o u n d variables a n d their academic achievement.  Some  correlational analyses were also conducted. Data were entered into a computer program w h i c h generated frequency distributions, measures of central tendency and Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients. Students' self reports of the social and personal nature of their experiences as learners of language and academics i n an L 2 setting were analyzed qualitatively. Anecdotal responses to interview questions were collated and analyzed by hand.  Limitations This study was designed to investigate the reading development and academic achievement of fifty-five E S L students i n the V a n c o u v e r , British C o l u m b i a School District. A l l participants were between the ages of eight and twelve years at the time they enrolled i n the district. A l l participants were enrolled in at least their fourth consecutive school year i n the Vancouver School District. The  32  sample selected is reflective of students who meet these criteria. Findings from this study are not intended to be generalized to student populations from different districts and w i t h different Age on A r r i v a l and Length of Residence.  33  CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS OF THE STUDY  Introduction This chapter presents the results of the study. A brief description of the participants is given first, followed by a summary of data collected and a presentation of quantitative and qualitative research findings.  Participants Fifty-five students (31 males and 24 females) participated i n the study. Participants were selected if they had enrolled i n the Vancouver School District, Vancouver, British Columbia between 1990 and 1993 and were between eight and twelve years of age on arrival. A l l participants had remained i n the Vancouver School District since registration and were enrolled i n grades eight to eleven at the time of the study. The language of instruction i n all schools was English (hereafter called L 2 schooling). A l l students had a m i n i m u m of four years of schooling i n Vancouver.  Demographic Data Demographic information for the participants was obtained from data collected at the time they registered at O R O C , Vancouver School Board, Vancouver, British Columbia. Fifty-five students took part i n the study: 56.36% (31) male and 43.64% (24) female (Table 2). A l l participants had a m i n i m u m of four years of schooling i n Vancouver. Most were enrolled i n their seventh year of L 2 schooling, w i t h an average of 6.58 years (Table 3). Students were between the ages of thirteen and seventeen and were enrolled i n grades eight to eleven. A m o n g them they  34  spoke thirteen L i s (Table 4) and came from fourteen different countries (Table 5). The i m m i g r a t i o n status of students' families, generally believed to reflect socioeconomic status, ranged from entrepreneur to landed immigrant to refugee to Canadian citizen (Table 6).  Table 2 Gender of Participants (in percentage)  Gender  Percent  n  Male  56.36  31  Female  43.64  24  Table 3 Years of L?-Only Schooling i n Vancouver (in percentage)  Years  4  5  6  7  Percent  1.8  7.3  21.8  69.1  n  1  4  12  38  x = 6.58 years  35  Table 4 Frequency of Students' First Languages (in percentage)  First Language  n  Percent  Cantonese  21  38.2  Chu Chow  1  1.8  Hakka  1  1.8  Japanese  1  1.8  Mandarin  9  16.4  Polish  1  1.8  Pushto  1  1.8  Spanish  4  7.3  Tagalog  2  3.6  Taiwanese  1  1.8  Tamil  1  1.8  Twi  1  1.8  Vietnamese  11  20.0  Table 5 Frequency of Students' Countries of Origin (in percentage)  Country  n  Percent  Afghanistan  1  1.8  Brazil  1  1.8  China  4  7.3  E l Salvador  3  5.5  Ghana  1  1.8  Guatemala  1  1.8  21  38.2  Japan  1  1.8  Malaysia  2  3.6  Philippines  1  1.8  Poland  1  1.8  Sri Lanka  1  1.8  Taiwan  13  23.6  Vietnam  13  23.6  Hong Kong  Table 6 Immigration Status of Students' Families (in percentage)  Immigration Status  n  Percent  Landed  35  63.6  Refugee  13  23.6  Entrepreneur  3  5.5  Canadian citizen  1  1.8  Missing data  3  5.5  Hypotheses This study was designed to explore the effect of immigrant and refugee students' literacy and educational backgrounds on their acquisition of L 2 reading and academic achievement. Five hypotheses were posited to address this issue. They are categorized under three headings: (1) Previous Education i n L\, (2) L i Literacy and, (3) L 2 Literacy and Academic Achievement. Previous Education in L\  I.  Students w h o have been educated i n L i prior to immigrating w i l l  spend less time i n ESL classes than students whose L i education has been unduly interrupted or who have had no previous schooling i n L i  38  II.  Students w h o have had previous English instruction i n their home  country prior to enrolling i n an L2 schooling spend less time i n ESL classes than students who have had no previous English instruction. Ll Literacy:  III.  L2 reading performance of students w h o were literate i n L i at the  time of arrival and have maintained literacy i n L i w i l l be superior to that of students who have not maintained L i literacy skills. IV.  Orthographic similarity is not a predictor of L2 reading achievement.  L2 Literacy and Academic Achievement:  V.  Students who have well-developed expressive language skills w i l l be  more successful academically than students w h o have less developed expressive language skills.  Previous Education i n L l The first two hypotheses refer to students' education i n L i . They include: I. ) students w h o have been educated i n L i prior to immigrating w i l l spend less time i n E S L classes than students whose L i education has been u n d u l y interrupted or who have had no previous schooling i n L l , and II. )  students w h o have had previous English instruction i n their home  country prior to enrolling i n L2 schooling spend less time i n E S L classes than students w h o have had no previous English instruction. This first set of hypotheses (I & II) predicts that students w h o have been educated i n L i prior to enrolling i n L2 schooling w i l l spend less time i n ESL classes than students whose L i education has been u n d u l y interrupted or w h o have had no previous schooling i n L l . Also, students w h o have studied English prior to  39  enrolling i n L2 schooling w i l l spend less time i n ESL than students w h o have had no previous English instruction. I. L l Educational Background Information regarding students' educational backgrounds was obtained from family interviews conducted at O R O C u p o n arrival (baseline data).  The  number of years of schooling i n L i and the type of school attended (e.g., urban, rural, refugee, private) were recorded.  Pearson product-moment correlation  coefficients were calculated to observe a possible relationship between L i schooling and the length of time students spent i n ESL.  A l s o , relationships between L i  schooling and select academic courses and the relationship between years i n ESL and L i and L2 literacy and academic achievement i n L2 were considered. The mean number of years of L l schooling was 4.74, w i t h a range of 2.0 to 8.0 years (Table 7). Data were missing for nine students. It is not k n o w n if these students attended school i n L i , or, if they d i d , for how long or what type of school they attended. In the follow-up interviews (1996), three students commented that they d i d not k n o w h o w to read or write before they began school i n Canada. Analysis b y Pearson product-moment correlation showed a significant positive correlation between years of L i schooling and L2 literacy (.36, p < .05). It may be inferred, therefore, that if the students w h o were not literate i n L i upon arrival i n Vancouver had been to school i n L i , it was likely to have been brief. Most students reported having attended school i n an urban setting; however, 10% reported going to school i n a rural or refugee situation (Table 8).  40  T a b e l 7 F r e q u e n c y of Y e a r s of I/[  Y e a r s of L i S c h o o n i lg  x  2  n  2  %  3.6  S c h o o n i l g (in p e r c e n t a g e )  3  4  5 9.1  5  17  9  30.9  16.4  6  7 12.7  7  4  8  Missing Data  2 7.3  9 3.6  16.4  = 4.74  T a b e l 8 F r e q u e n c y of D i f f e r e n tT y p e s of L][ S c h o o s l (in p e r c e n t a g e )  Urban  Rural  Refugee  Private  Missing Data  n  29  2  4  10  10  /o  52.7  3.6  7.3  18.2  18.2  T y p e of L i S c h o o n i lg  ESL Students spent, on average, 2.36 years i n ESL (Table 9). The amount of time they spent i n ESL ranged from less than one year (four students) to more than six years (two students). VSB policy considers students ESL (i.e., they are funded as  41  such) if more than 50% of their courses are ESL courses. N o statistically significant relationship was found between years of schooling i n L i and years i n ESL (-.11, p < .05). Most students (69.1%) spent up to two years i n ESL (Table 9). There were two groups of students whose length of time i n ESL was notable, however. The first group consisted of four students, all males, w h o exited ESL i n less than one year. The second group was ten students w h o spent five or more years i n ESL. Table 10 shows some demographic characteristics for these two groups.  Table 9 Frequency of Years i n E S L (in percentage)  Years  0  1  2  3  4  5  6  n  4  15  19  3  4  8  2  %  7.3  27.3  34.5  5.5  7.3  14.5  3.6  x = 2.36 years  42  Table 10 Demographics of Early and Late Exit Groups from ESL  Earlv Exit (< 1 year)  Late Exit ( 5+ years)  n =4  n = 10  Gender  Male  Female  Male  Female  n  4  0  7  3  Immigration Status  Landed  Refugee  Landed  Refugee  n  4  0  6  4  Previous English Study (years)  <1  4  0  1  5  n  2  2  5  4  1  Early Exit  The four students w h o spent less than one year i n E S L a l l immigrated as Landed Immigrants and spoke a first language of either Cantonese (3) or Mandarin (1). Two students were enrolled i n each of grades 9 and 10 at the time of the study. T w o students c l a i m e d not to have had any instruction i n E n g l i s h before immigrating; however, their scores on the L 2 reading comprehension test written on arrival were among the highest scores recorded. The other two students also  43  scored high on the L2 reading comprehension test written on arrival. These two students each reported four years of English study before beginning L2 schooling.  Late Exit  There were ten students, seven males and three females, w h o spent five or more years i n ESL. Six were L a n d e d Immigrants and four had Refugee status. Their L i s were: Cantonese (1), Mandarin (1), Spanish (2), and Vietnamese (6). Five of the ten students reported having had no English instruction before enrolling i n L2 schooling. Four students had one year of English instruction and one student had more than one year of English instruction. It is likely that the L i education of students immigrating w i t h refugee status may have been interrupted or severely lacking. One student, a Vietnamese girl, reported having attended school two hours a day for three years while i n a refugee camp i n H o n g Kong. Five more students, all males, three Vietnamese  one from C h i n a and one from Guatemala, had  experienced interrupted schooling, having moved two or more times before settling in Vancouver. A t least two of these students could not read or write i n L i on arrival i n Canada, again suggesting limited schooling i n L i .  Li S c h o o n i l g and  A c a d e m c i A c h e iv e m e n t  Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated to observe possible relationships between the number of years of schooling i n L l and achievement i n key courses, as measured by Grade Point Average (Table 11). Analysis showed significant correlations for the number of years of schooling i n L i and achievement i n math, E n g l i s h a n d social studies.  Statistically significant  findings were also obtained for years of L i schooling and writing ability i n both L i and L2- N o statistically significant findings were obtained between L i schooling  44  and L2 reading and I4 schooling and achievement i n science. Correlations were strongest for Social Studies (.52), L2 writing (.49) and English (.47) followed by math (.44) and L l writing (.36), w i t h alpha set at .05. These findings support a common underlying proficiency. Analysis revealed statistically significant negative relationships for years i n ESL and L l w r i t i n g ability, L2 w r i t i n g ability, L2 reading comprehension and achievement i n science, socials and English (Table 12). These findings show a negative relationship between the rate and level of proficiency i n L2 attained and literacy (i.e., reading and writing i n both L i and L2) and academic achievement. The faster students acquire L2 literacy skills the sooner they exit ESL.  T a b e l 11 R e a lt o in s h p is b e t w e e nY e a r s of L ^ S c h o o n i l g and  E n g l i s h  Y e a r s of L i  .47**  m a t h s c e in c e  .44**  .28  A c a d e m c i A c h e iv e m e n t  s o c i a l s Ll Ll Ll W r i t i n gR e a d n igW r i t i n g  .52***  .36*  .12  .49**  S c h o o n i lg  * p < .05,  ** p < .01,  *** p <  0 .01  45  T a b e l 12 R e a lt o in s h p is b e t w e e nY e a r s in ESL  E n g l i s h  Y e a r s in ESL  * p < .05,  -.41**  ** p < .01,  m a t h s c e in c e  -.24  *** p <  -.48***  and  A c a d e m c i A c h e iv e m e n t  s o c i a l s L2 L2 W r i t i n gR e a d n igW r i t i n g  -.38**  -.33*  -.50***  -.58***  0 .01  II. Previous English Study***  The second previous education i n Lj_ hypothesis maintains that "students who have had previous English instruction prior to enrolling i n L 2 schooling w i l l spend less time i n E S L classes than students w h o have had no previous English instruction." A record was made u p o n registration at O R O C of the number of hours per week and the number of years students had studied English before enrolling in the Vancouver School District. Descriptive statistics were calculated and Analysis of Variance was carried out to observe differences i n students' performance i n L 2 reading due to years of previous English instruction. Sixty-nine percent of the students reported having studied English before immigrating to Canada.  Table 13 shows the frequencies, mean and standard  deviations for students' previous English study.  The mean number of years  students had studied English was 2.0 years, with a range from no previous English  46  study (less than one year) to seven years of English instruction. The mean number of hours of English study per week was 5.6 hours. Analysis by A N O V A showed significant differences i n L2 reading comprehension by years of English study before enrolling i n L2 schooling (F (7,43) = 4.26, p = .0012)  Table 13 Years of E n g l i s h Study i n L i (in percentage)  Years  0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  %  40.0  16.4  7.3  3.6  16.4  7.3  7.3  1.8  n  22  9  4  2  9  4  4  1  x = 2.0 years sd = 2.194  Summary Eighty-four percent of the students reported having attended school before immigrating to Canada. Data were missing for the remaining students (16 percent). It is likely that the type and duration of school experiences of those students immigrating w i t h refugee status were lacking.  For example, one grade 10  Vietnamese girl explained that she had been to school i n a refugee camp i n H o n g K o n g before immigrating to Canada. A t this time she went to school for only two hours a day. A Vietnamese speaking, grade 10 boy w h o immigrated as a refugee moved first to Calgary from Vietnam and then to Vancouver. This student was still living w i t h an older sister. H i s parents were divorced; his father lived i n Calgary  47  and his mother was i n Vietnam. H e could neither read nor write i n L l . H i s sister read to h i m letters from his mother. A third student, another grade 10 Vietnamese speaking boy w i t h Landed Immigrant status, had immigrated first to Halifax where the language of instruction was French. Then, his family moved to Ontario and finally settled i n Vancouver. Correlational analysis showed no statistically significant relationship for years of schooling i n L l and years i n ESL. The findings may be educationally significant, however.  It seems that limited schooling i n L i and exceptional  interruptions to schooling may impede the rate and level of L2 proficiency attained, as measured by time spent i n ESL.  L i Literacy Hypotheses The next two hypotheses (III & IV) relate to students' L i literacy background and L2 reading. Hypothesis III holds that "L2 reading performance of students w h o were literate i n L i u p o n arrival and have maintained literacy i n L l w i l l be superior to that of students w h o have not maintained L i literacy skills."  N o significant  correlation was obtained between performance on L i compositions written in 1996 and L2 reading (-.01, p < .05). However, analysis by Pearson product-moment correlation showed a weak but significant relationship between ability to write i n L i and the length of time students spent i n E S L (-.33, p < .05). These findings suggest that students literate in L l had an advantage over students not literate i n their L i . Students w h o were literate i n L i on arrival spent less time i n ESL than students who had not acquired L i literacy skills. Most students had not continued to develop L i literacy. Almost 50% of the students reported that they were stronger readers i n L2 than i n L i . Four times as many students reported L2 as their dominant language for writing than reported L i 48  (Table 14). A l s o , the mean performance on L i compositions dropped from 2.9 on arrival to 1.67 i n 1996 (where 3.0 = "average," 2.0 = "fair" and 1.0 = "poor" as appropriate for grade level). These findings show that students had neither maintained nor continued to develop L l literacy skills (Table 15).  Nineteen  students (35%) were unable to write a short composition i n their L l i n 1996.  T a b e l 14 S t u d e n t s ' P e r c e p t o in s of t h e i rD o m n ia n tL a n g u a g e for W r i t i n g  D o m n ia n t L a n g u a g e  Ll P e r c e n t n  S p e a k n ig ,R e a d n ig and  S p e a k n ig  R e a d n ig  W r i t i n g  6 0 0 . 3 3  3 0 9 . 1 7  1 6 4 . 9  2 3 6 . 1 3  4 9 1 . 2 7  7 0 9 . 3 9  1 6 4 . 9  2 0 0 . 1 1  1 2 7 . 7  ll  P e r c e n t n L i & L ? P e r c e n t  49  T a b e l 15 M e a n s and  S t a n d a r dD e v i a t i o n s for P e r f o r m a n c e on Li C o m p o s t o in s  L^ C o m p o s t o in A r r i v a l  1996  n  11  55  x  2.9  1.67  sd  1.40  Lj_ Composition Students w h o were able wrote short compositions i n L i on arrival and i n 1996. Compositions were scored holistically on a five-point scale (1 = "poor," 2 = "fair," 3 = "average," 4 = "good," 5 = "very good") compared w i t h their ageappropriate grade level and descriptive statistics were calculated (Table 15). Interrater reliability ranged from .92 - .98. Eleven students wrote L i compositions on arrival. Scores ranged from 1 to 5. The mean was calculated at 2.9, where 3.0 = "average." In 1996 the mean score on L l compositions was 1.67 (n = 55), w i t h a range of 0 to 4. The mean i n 1996 was considerably lower than that on arrival. These findings suggest that students were neither maintaining nor continuing to develop L i writing skills. Students' self-reports that their written skills were weaker i n L i than L 2 , supported by a decrease i n mean performance on L i compositions from arrival to  50  1996, shows that most students had not continued to develop their L i writing skills commensurate w i t h their grade level. Li_ Orthography and L ? Literacy Hypothesis I V claims that "orthographic similarity is not a predictor of L2 reading." Data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively to explore the role of orthography on L2 reading acquisition. First languages using a Roman alphabet were considered orthographically similar to English. A l l others were categorized as orthographically different from English (see Appendix 2). Mean  scores  i n L2  reading  were  computed  for  students  with  orthographically similar and different L i s . A t - test for independent means was calculated to compare mean performance i n L2 reading for the two groups. The mean score for students whose L l was orthographically different from L2 was calculated to be 55.34 (n = 35, sd = 10.77) and for students whose L i was orthographically similar to L2 at 49.06 (n = 16, sd = 11.55).  N o significant  differences i n L2 reading were found due to difference i n orthography (t = .105, p = .747). Students' o w n perceptions of the benefit of k n o w i n g h o w to read i n an L i orthographically similar or different to L2 differed slightly from empirical findings, however. To gain insight into students' perceptions about the advantages  or  disadvantages that knowing h o w to read i n L i had on acquiring reading i n English, I asked them if they felt that knowing how to read i n L i had helped them to learn to read i n English. Of the 47 students who responded (some could not say, could not remember or, were not literate in L i at the time they began learning to read i n English), 55% believed that k n o w i n g how to read i n L l had helped them w i t h learning to read i n L2- The majority of these students was literate i n an L l that was orthographically similar to English, however. Sixty-two percent of students whose  51  L i was orthographically different from English believed that k n o w i n g how to read in L l was not an advantage i n learning to read English. T w o Cantonese speaking students (a grade 9 female and a grade 10 male) offered the following comments: "No. They [English and Cantonese] are two totally different languages."  (Grade 9 female)  "No. I don't think there is a connection between the two [English and Cantonese].  (Grade 10 male)In fact, a few students felt that k n o w i n g how to read i n L i made it more difficult to learn to read English. "Actually I think it makes it harder because you are accustomed to the old ways and grammar so you get things [order] mixed up."  (Grade 10 Cantonese speaking male)  "No. It's harder when you read in a different language. It seems harder to learn another language because you already know a language."  (Grade 10 Cantonese speaking female  "Not really because the scripts are so different."  (Grade 10 Tamil speaking female) Students whose L l was orthographically different from English and believed that k n o w i n g h o w to read i n L l helped learning to read i n L 2 referred mostly to translation as a strategy for using L i to assist learning to read i n L2-  52  "Like if I don't understand a word, I can use a dictionary and translate into Cantonese and you understand what it would mean."  (Grade 10 Cantonese speaking female)  "I think so because when you reading you don't know the vocab but you know the Mandarin so you can know the definition."  (Grade 10 Mandarin speaking male)  "Yeah, a little bit I think so. When you read in English your mind would translate into Cantonese and you understand what it would mean."  (Grade 9 Cantonese speaking female) There were exceptions where students seemed to have a greater awareness of the reading process. A grade 9 Vietnamese speaking male commented: "Sometimes the meaning when you read a book is different than looking it up in a dictionary. The way the author write - the style - is different than you could find in a dictionary."  Similarly, two students whose L i was orthographically different from English felt that despite orthographic differences, knowledge of reading i n one language helps acquiring reading i n LQ_.  A grade 10 M a n d a r i n speaking boy and a grade 9  Cantonese speaking girl indicated i n their comments that they engaged i n a psycholinguistic guessing game (Goodman, 1967) when reading: "I guess. The sentence structure - you can guess what the word is. If you know the story in one language you can just read it in the other."  53  "Yeah, I think so. Maybe you have already read some kind of story - the same plot - if you don't understand, you can kind of guess what happening." One grade 10 Cantonese speaking male student referred to using his I4 schema as a strategy for comprehending in L2:  "Yeah. It's like you learn a new word in English and you can refer it back to your own language. Fourteen out of fifteen students whose I4 was orthographically similar to English believed that knowing how to read in I4 was an advantage in learning to read in L2. They commented largely on the similarities between the languages.  "I think so. When you see a word you know how to pronounce it [in Vietnamese]. This helps in English." (Grade 10 Vietnamese speaking female)  "Yeah. Knowing the words - some are similar." (Grade 9 Tagalog speaking female)  "Yeah I think so because some of the words are totally almost the same. Just the pronunciation is different. That's why it's easier for me to learn English because a lot of the words are the same." (Grade 11 Spanish speaking female)  "Yes, it did. Before I came here I lived in Germany and I had to learn German. It was easier to learn English because I had already learned another language." (Grade 11 Polish speaking female)  54  A couple of students believed that, because of the similarity between their L i and English, they had an advantage over their peers w i t h orthographically different Lis. most of the letters in Filipino are takenfromEnglish . . . If you've got Chinese to back it up it's no use because they've got characters. I've got a bit of an advantage over the Chinese speaking students."  (Grade 10 Tagalog speaking male)  "Chinese people have to learn a new alphabet. So, when I think about it, our alphabets are the same so it was probably easier for me."  (Grade 11 Spanish speaking male)  Summary  Results show that students who were literate i n L i on arrival spent less time in ESL than students who had not acquired L i literacy skills. Most students had not continued to develop L i literacy skills. N o significant differences were found in L2 reading performance due to L i literacy. Orthography was not found to be a predictor of L2 reading. Students w i t h an orthographically different L2 d i d not perceive k n o w i n g how to read i n L i as an advantage i n learning to read i n L2 other than possibly as a translating strategy. However, students w i t h an orthographically similar L i believed they had an advantage over students w i t h an orthographically different L2 when learning to read i n L2.  55  L? Literacy and Academic Achievement The fifth hypothesis concerns L2 literacy and academic achievement.  It  states that "students w h o have well-developed expressive language skills i n L2 w i l l be more successful academically than students who have less developed expressive language skills i n L2." Second language learners' expressive language was investigated using qualitative and quantitative methods. The first section summarizes interview data about students' use of L l and L2, their study habits and subject preferences. Students were interviewed i n d i v i d u a l l y and their responses were recorded on interview protocols. Later, responses were coded and frequencies calculated. Responses are presented as percentages. In the second section, students' reading habits are presented. Descriptive statistics were calculated for students' L2 reading. Finally, mean changes i n L2 reading were assessed. Language Use  Students reported using their L i s more often than, or as often as L2- Less than half the students (32.7%) reported using L i more often than English (L2). Almost the same number (30.9%) believed that they used their L i s and English equally. Fewer students (27.3%) reported using English more often than they used their L i s . Students most frequently used their L i s to communicate w i t h their friends and family members, usually their parents, at home and at school. M a n y students reported that they only used English when they had to, that is, i n situations where they were required to speak w i t h someone who does not understand their L i . For instance, students tended to use English when speaking w i t h a teacher or other school personnel, w h e n translating for relatives or i n social situations such as shopping.  56  Language Dominance  Most students reported not only that they used L i more often than L2, but also that they believed themselves to be stronger speakers i n their L i s . There is, however, a shift from L i dominance i n speaking to L2 dominance for reading and writing. Less than 25% of the students considered L2 their dominant spoken language. Approximately 50% reported that they were stronger readers i n L2 than in L i and 71% believed they were better writers i n L2 than i n L i . Table 14 shows students' perceptions of their dominant language for speaking, reading and writing. Seventy-six percent of the students felt that they spoke their L i more fluently or as fluently as English. Fewer, 47.3% felt that they were better readers i n L i or that they read equally w e l l i n both languages.  O n l y 29.1% of the students  considered L i their dominant language for writing. Seventy-one percent (39) of the students believed that they were better writers i n English than i n their L i s , this included fifteen students w h o were not able to write a composition i n L i .  Nine  students (16.4%) claimed that they were more proficient writers i n L l , seven (12.7%) felt that they wrote equally well i n either language. Despite most students' claim that L2 was their dominant written language, many students expressed concern about their ability to write well i n L2- Only 50% of the students reported feeling comfortable expressing themselves adequately on tests and assignments.  Twenty-eight percent reported that they sometimes  encountered problems expressing themselves i n English and 20% felt that they could not yet express themselves satisfactorily i n writing i n L2. Thus, almost 80% of the participants had concerns regarding their L2 writing abilities. Most students felt they had a better chance of getting a good grade on a multiple-choice test than on one that required them to write an essay. Concern for their L2 writing skills was  57  also the main reason students ranked Social Studies and English among their least liked subjects. One grade 10 Mandarin speaking male said: "Sometimes I can't express myself well in essays. I'd rather draw a picture to explain myself."  Another student, a grade 9 Vietnamese speaking male, commented: "Well, I think I do better on the multiple-choice than essay. Well, because, you know I've got a lot of grammar problems so I can't express myself."  Concern for their ability to express themselves i n L2 may explain w h y most students (60.0%) preferred multiple-choice or matching test questions rather than essay-type questions. A grade 11 Vietnamese speaking female remarked: "Whenever the teacher says it's a multiple-choice test, I have a calm feeling."  A grade 11 Taiwanese speaking male student calculated that If I don't get a question, I have a one-in-five or one-in-four chance of getting it correct."  A grade 11 Cantonese speaking male reported candidly, "Multiple-choice is best. It doesn't require a lot of thinking."  Only three students (5.4%) preferred essay-type exams. Sixteen students stated no preference for test type. They commented that all tests, whatever the format, were equally hard; or, conversely, that, if y o u studied, they were all easy!  58  S t u d yH a b t i s  M o r e than 80% of the students reported doing homework every day. O n average, students spent 2.3 hours each day d o i n g homework. They reported spending most of their homework time on math. They also ranked math as their favourite subject (25.5%), least liked subject (20.0%), most difficult subject (18.2%) and easiest subject (30.9%). Students also reported spending a lot of time on English. English was second only to math as least liked subject and it outranked math 2:1 as most difficult subject. English, and to a lesser degree, social studies, were classified as such due to the high reading and writing demands. Table 16 shows students' subject preferences, those subjects they found most difficult and those that required the most time.  T a b e l 16 S t u d e n t s 'P r e f e r r e d S c h o o l S u b e jc t s (in p e r c e n t a g e )  R e q u r i e s F a v o u r t i e M o s tT m i e S u b e jc t  L e a s tL i k e d M o s t S u b e jc t D i f f i c u l t S u b e jc t  E a s e is t S u b e jc t  m a t h Jo  n  2 5 5 . 1 4  2 5 5 . 1 4  2 0 0 . 1 1  1 8 2 . 1 0  2 1 8 .  -  9 . 1 1 1  4 0 0 . 2 2  3 0 9 . 1 7  E n g l i s h  /o n  12  s c e in c e n  -  -  182 . % 1 0  59  Table 17 Reading Practices (in percentage)  Likes to read:  Yes  No  Sometimes  Percent n  61.8 (34)  21.8 (12)  16.4 (9)  Reads i n L i :  Yes  No  Sometimes  Percent n  47.2 (26)  29.09 (16)  14.55 (8)  Pleasure  Study  Both  21.8 (12)  16.4 (9)  61.8 (34)  Reads hours/week:  <1  1-2  3-4  Percent n  7.3  29.1  21.8  Reads for:  Percent n  x = 2.982  60  Reading This section presents the results of participants' L 2 reading development. First, qualitative and quantitative findings from interviews w i t h students about their reading practices are presented. This is followed by descriptive statistics for students' L2 reading and finally, mean changes i n L2 reading from arrival to the spring of 1996 are presented. Reading Practices  Students were interviewed about their reading habits: whether they liked to read, w h i c h language(s) they read in, what they liked to read, h o w often they read and for what purpose (Table 17). Most students (83.6%) said that they enjoyed reading. Sixty-two percent reported reading regularly while 16.4% said that they enjoyed reading on occasion. Twenty-two percent said that they d i d not like to read. It was noted earlier (see Language Dominance p. 57) that approximately half the students (28) reported that they were stronger, or equally strong, readers i n L i . A similar number of students, 26 (47.27%) reported that they read regularly i n L i - A n additional eight students (14.55%) read i n L i occasionally. Sixteen students (29.09%) reported that although they could read i n L i , they d i d not (Table 17). Students reported spending, on average, 3.0 hours a week reading. While a few (16.4%) students read only to complete homework assignments or to study for tests, 21.8% reported reading for pleasure and most (61.8%) read for both study and pleasure. However, students spent more time per week reading for study purposes (x = 3.25 hours/week) than for pleasure (x = 2.91 hours/week) or for study and pleasure combined (x = 2.94 hours/week). Females read more than males i n all categories.  The most popular reading materials included magazines (fashion,  sports, cars and army), novels - especially mysteries and romances, comics, the  61  newspaper, texts, poetry, letters, and short stories. W h e n asked if she enjoyed reading, one grade 10 Vietnamese speaking girl responded: "Yes. My mom thinks I'm crazy. Sometimes I even read in the dark. Now I need an eye check. My teacher thinks reading helps to learn English but I read for pleasure. Sometimes I learn new vocab or sentence."  Three other students - two females and one male - claimed they read "Everything," "Anything I can get a hand on" and, "Everything, and i n both languages." Despite this apparent enthusiasm for reading, students were reading below grade level. Descriptive statistics were calculated for students' scores on the passage comprehension subtest of the W o o d c o c k Reading Mastery Tests - Revised (Woodcock, 1987) taken on arrival and i n the spring of 1996 (Woodcock, 1973). M e a n performance and the range of reading abilities were compared. Table 18 shows means and standard deviations for students' performance on standardized tests of L2 reading comprehension on arrival and i n 1996. A two-tailed t-test for paired samples (n = 50) showed a significant difference between participants' mean performance on arrival and i n 1996 (t = -18.46, p < .05). O n arrival, students' scores on the passage comprehension subtest ranged from kindergarten to an equivalent of grade level 5.2 (Table 19). The mean grade equivalent was 1.2. A t this time, 100.00% of the students scored below grade level O n average, they scored 4.14 grade levels below their age-appropriate grade level. There were no scores for 18 (33.33%) students.  Presumably, their proficiency i n  English was not sufficient to take the test. In 1996 the mean had increased more than five times from a grade level of 1.2 to a mean grade level of 6.6. The range of reading levels also increased. In 1996, students' reading levels ranged from a low of 2.5 to a high of 12.9. Despite the large  62  increase i n mean performance, most students (92%) continued to score below grade level (Table 19). O f this group, 83% were reading two or more grade levels below the grade i n w h i c h they were enrolled. After almost seven years of L-2 schooling, only four students of 51 scored at (one) or above (three) grade level.  T a b e l 18 M e a n s and S t a n d a r dD e v i a t i o n s on S t a n d a r d z ie dT e s t s of R e a d n ig C o m p r e h e n s o in  A r r i v a l 1996  n  x  sd  54  .15  .16  51  .64  .13  £..05, df49  -18.46*  *p < .05, t w o t a i l e d .  M e a n changes i n L 2 reading by grade level were calculated from arrival to 1996 to investigate the effect of literacy development i n L i on literacy development in L 2 -  Table 20 shows the mean change i n performance o n the reading  comprehension test by grade level. The total mean increase was 5.39 grade levels. Older students showed greater gains than younger students.  These findings  suggest that older students, those most likely to have developed higher proficiency levels of L i literacy skills before enrolling i n L 2 schooling, were applying their knowledge of L l grammar and syntax to L2- These findings support those of previous research (Cummins, 1981a; Early, 1989; Gunderson, 1995a). 63  Table 19 Percentage of Students Reading At Different Grade Levels  Arrival  1996  (1990 -1993)  (n = 54)  (n = 51)  Range (in Grade Levels)  0.0 - 5.2  2.5 -12.9  Below Grade Level  100.0%  92.16%  At Grade Level  0.0%  1.96%  Above Grade Level  0.00%  5.88%  Table 20 Mean Change i n Reading Comprehension by Grade Level  Grade (1996)  n  Range bv Grade Level  Range of Change in Grade Levels  x Change in Grade Levels  8  2  5.0 - 9.2  3.6 - 9.2  6.40  9  18  2.5 - 9.2  0.9 - 8.1  4.67  10  21  3.7 -12.9  2.2 -10.9  5.35  11  10  4.2 - 9.5  1.7 - 9.5  6.08  64  Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated to observe relationships between L2 literacy and academic achievement i n English, math, science and social studies (Table 21).  Analysis revealed significant positive  correlations for performance on L2 compositions w i t h performance i n English, science, and social studies — three key academic courses that commonly require students to show their knowledge of the subject matter through writing. Stronger correlations were obtained for English and social studies than for science and math.  T a b e l 21 R e a lt o in s h p is b e t w e e nP e r f o r m a n c e on L? W r i t t e nC o m p o s t o i n and A c a d e m c i A c h e iv e m e n t  E n g l i s h L2 W r i t t e n C o m p o s t o in  .63***  * p < .05,  *** p <  * * p < .01,  m a t h  .34*  s c e in c e  .47***  s o c i a l s  .50***  0 .01  Math Correlation coefficients were calculated for performance i n math, as measured b y grade point average, and performance i n science, social studies, English and i n L2 reading and w r i t i n g .  Findings showed a strong positive  correlation between math grades and science, social studies and English. Weak, yet statistically significant correlations were obtained for math and L2 reading and L2 writing (Table 22)  65  T a b e l 22 R e l a t i o n s h i pB e t w e e nP e r f o r m a n c e in M a t h and S t u d i e s ,E n g l i s h and L? R e a d n ig and W r i t i n g  m a t h  * p < .05,  s c e in c e  s o c i a l s  .53****  .59****  * * P < .01,  * * * p < .001,  **** p < .  E n g l i s h  .51****  P e r f o r m a n c e in S c e in c e ,S o c i a l  L? R e a d n ig  .29*  L? W r i t i n g  .34*  000  Students' performance on the grade equivalent math tests administered during the assessment session ranged from very poor to exceptional. Table 23 shows the frequency distribution for scores i n percentages, including the mean, standard deviation and range of performance.  66  Table 23 Frequency Distribution for Students' Performance i n Math (scores are presented in percentages)  Score (%)  n  Frequency (%)  0 5 10 15 20 25 30 40 45 50 53 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 100 Missing Data  3 3 1 4 1 2 3 1 6 3 1 1 3 3 2 3 4 4 2 1 4  5.5 5.5 1.8 7.3 1.8 3.6 5.5 1.8 10.9 5.5 1.8 1.8 5.5 5.5 3.6 5.5 7.3 7.3 3.6 1.8 7.3  x = 48.88 sd = 28.81 Range 0.0 -100.0  67  Writing  L2 Composition  The mean score for L2 compositions written on arrival was 0.51 (n = 55), w i t h a range of 0 - 3 (Table 24). A t this time only fourteen students wrote a composition i n English. In 1996 the mean score on L2 compositions had increased more than five times to a value of 2.60 (n = 47), w i t h a range of 1 - 5. Table 25 shows frequencies for students' scores on native language and English compositions o n arrival and i n 1996. Interrater reliability ranged from .92 - .98. A s noted earlier (see Language Dominance p. 57) most students considered themselves more proficient writers i n L2 than i n L i . Analysis of L i and L2 written compositions provides empirical support for these self-reports.  Students' L2  literacy skills were superior to their L i literacy skills after four years of instruction in English. A two-tailed £-test for paired samples (n = 47) showed a significant difference between participants' mean performance o n L i and L2 w r i t t e n compositions i n 1996 (t = -3.31, p < .05) (Table 24). These findings confirm students' self-reports that they were more proficient writers i n L2 than i n L l .  68  T a b e l 24 M e a n s and  S t a n d a r dD e v i a t i o n s for P e r f o r m a n c e on Li and  Li C o m p o s t o in A r r i v a l  1 9 9 6  L? C o m p o s t o in s  L? C o m p o s t o in A r r i v a l  1 9 9 6  n  11  55  55  47  X  2.9  1.67  0.51  2.6*  Range  0-5  0-4  0-3  1-5  t. .05,df46  t. =  -3.31  *P_ < .05, two-tailed. Most students' L i w r i t i n g skills had not i m p r o v e d since they arrived i n Canada and began L 2 schooling.  M a n y students were still w r i t i n g at a level  appropriate to the grade level they were i n when they emigrated. Second language composition scores (1996) ranged from 1.0 (poor) to 5.0 (very good), compared w i t h their grade level. Approximately 50% of students' compositions were rated between 1.0 (poor) and 3.0 (average). Forty percent were rated between 2.0 (fair) and 3.0 (average). O n l y 7.3% were rated good or very good (Table 25). These findings attest to students' self reports of their L2 writing skills. A l t h o u g h there was marked improvement i n their abilities to write i n L 2 since beginning L 2 schooling, most students were w r i t i n g at a level m a r g i n a l l y appropriate to their grade level.  69  Table 25 Frequencies of Students' Scores on L]_ and L? Compositions (in percentage)  Arrival  1996  Ll  L2  Ll  L2  (n= 55)  (n= 55)  (n = 47)  (n = 47)  0  80.0  74.5  32.73  0.00  1  3.6  9.1  10.91  38.30  2  3.6  7.3  21.82  38.30  3  5.5  9.1  25.45  42.55  4  5.5  0.0  9.09  6.38  5  1.8  0.0  0.0  4.25  Score  Summary Most students believed that they were stronger readers i n L2 than in I4. Approximately 62% of students interviewed reported that they enjoyed reading. Students read, on average, between one and two hours a week. They read both for pleasure and study. M e a n changes i n L 2 reading comprehension by grade level were calculated from arrival to 1996 to investigate the effect of literacy development in L i on literacy development i n L2- The mean change i n reading comprehension was 5.39 grade levels, w i t h older students showing the greatest gains. It appears that older students, those likely to have had better developed literacy skills w h e n they started schooling i n L2, were a p p l y i n g their knowledge of grammar and 70  syntax i n I4 to learning L.2- Still, most students were reading two or more grade levels below the grade i n w h i c h they were enrolled, as measured on a standardized test of reading comprehension. W h e n asked what helped them to learn English, many students replied 'reading'.  'Read more' was also what most students claimed they w o u l d do  differently if they were starting over; reading was also among their advice to new ESL students.  The next section presents a qualitative analysis of students'  perceptions of learning English, E S L classes and some social aspects of L2 schooling, including their advice to incoming ESL students.  S t u d e n t s ' P e r c e p t o in s of ESL  c a ls s e s and  w h a th e p le dt h e m to l e a r nE n g l i s h  The next section presents qualitative findings from interviews w i t h students about their perceptions of ESL classes and other factors they felt helped or hindered their acquisition of L2 and academic achievement. Students expressed mixed feelings about ESL classes. However, most (76%) students felt that E S L classes had helped them to learn English.  Students'  comments were generally favorable. "ESL is kind of a good program. It lets some lower level students have an easier time and it covers the same material but it's easier so it's good."  (Grade 11 Taiwanese speaking male)  "I guess it all depends on how you take it. To me it is good stuff."  (Grade 11 M a n d a r i n speaking male) The main theme that emerged regarding the benefits of ESL classes was the pace. Students remarked on the slower pace of ESL classes. They felt that E S L  71  teachers introduced concepts slowly and used easier vocabulary than that used i n mainstream classes. A s one grade 11, Taiwanese speaking male noted: "The teacher uses lower level English so you can understand easier. The materials are easier and the teacher gave a lot of time for us to absorb those materials."  A grade 10 Spanish speaking male remarked: "It was slow and then got faster. You got to the spot, you know, where it stays there. That's when I got moved to regular classes." A grade 10 Cantonese speaking male student reflected on his o w n experiences: "They [ESL classes] are slower. You don't progress as fast. They concentrate on English more than other subjects. If I went into regular right away I don't think I could keep up. It gives you good firm and fundamental skills."  Other students commented on the relaxed, "safe" atmosphere of ESL classes as an environment conducive to learning: "[ESL class is] less stressful than regular class because everyone is ESL and the courses are easier to start with. (Grade 10 M a n d a r i n speaking male)  "It sort of provides a place where you don't feel isolated. ESL was a time to relax basically. The pressure was off and you could be yourself." (Grade 11 M a n d a r i n speaking male)  72  "It depend. When you uncomfortable in that class you never speak a word. If you are comfortable, then you speak a lot. I had lots of friends in ESL and I speak a lot. In grade seven I had no friends and I didn 't speak a word. (Grade 10 Vietnamese speaking female) Students expressed mixed feelings about speaking L i in ESL class. Some perceived the use of L i as a strategy to learning English:  "I had a friend that knew both language before me and he helped me. He was in ESL too." (Grade 9 Mandarin speaking male)  "I met friends who spoke my language and they helped me. They introduced me to read [English] books and stuff." (Grade 8 Mandarin speaking female) Others saw the use of L i as a barrier to learning English:  "Even though they [ESL classes] encourage you to speak, everyone around you speaks Cantonese so you can't really learn much." (Grade 9 Cantonese speaking female)  "It was better when I went to regular. In ESL most of the kids spoke Chinese and they spoke their own language. In regular everyone spoke English, it wasn 't just me." (Grade 9 Pushto speaking male)  Two grade 11 female students believed they had an advantage over other students in learning to speak English as they spoke a different L i from their classmates.  73  "In my class I was the only one who spoke my language and my friend she spoke her language so we had to speak English to communicate and that helped. I had no other way of communicating with other people so I had to speak English.." (Li: Polish)  "The reason I learned so quickly was because I was the only one from a different place. Like, I didn't speak Chinese, right, so I couldn't speak my language with any other person. Sod think that really helped." (Li: Twi)  There were also those who were ambivalent. They could see the need to practice English and yet also noted the usefulness of having the help of those who could speak both languages: "Students spend too much time speaking in L\. The teacher should be more strict and expect them to do more writing in English. An ESL teacher who can speak Chinese helps a lot." (Grade 9 Cantonese speaking male)  Students seemed quite aware of the need to develop good writing skills. "I think they're [ESL classes] good for new students. They should emphasize speaking and participating because these are really important in regular class and, of course, writing. My own classes could have been more supportive in this way." (Grade 10 Mandarin speaking male)  74  "It [ESL class] helped you with speaking more than with writing. It does help with writing but not as much." (Grade 9 Cantonese speaking male) One grade 11 Spanish speaking male summed it up when he said, "You learn most of your English from your friends in the street but then in class it's more formal. There are little things you learn in class - like vocab and grammar. With your friends you learn how to speak it but not how to write it, right?"  Other factors students felt contributed to learning English were: T V , friends and sports. When asked what they would do differently if they were starting all over as new learners of English and had the benefit of the experience and knowledge they now have, they replied:  "Let students learn more vocabulary and grammar and organization and everything about writing, especially essays. It's really helpful. Start slowly and move step by step." (Grade 11 Mandarin speaking male)  "Watch TV.  "Sports. That's when you have friends and you get to be a part. It'd be a lot harder without friends." (Grade 11 Mandarin speaking male)  "Just speaking and reading helps." (Grade 10 Cantonese speaking male)  75  "Vocabulary. My tutor gave me a vocabulary book with exercises. Doing exercises and quizzes helped. The best is to use the new vocabulary more often so you can do it better and they are appropriate." (Grade 11 Taiwanese speaking male)  "Try to read more English books. Try to make friends who speak English. It's hard and takes time but it is good." (Grade 9 Cantonese speaking male)  "Be around people who speak English. Sport is very important because you meet friends when you play sports." (Grade 10 Mandarin speaking male)  Female students commented frequently on the need to develop confidence to succeed at school both socially and academically. Male students referred to the positive effects of becoming involved in sports.  Male and female students  recommended reading, 'lots of reading', as an effective strategy for acquiring and improving I_2 proficiency.  Some said that advising students to read was their  personal opinion whereas others said it was what had been told to them. The most common opinion students gave for success, shared equally by males and females, was the need to acquire friends, preferably those with whom they could speak in English. In retrospect, many students commented that, if they were starting over, they would make more of an effort to use English from the beginning.  They  suggested making friends with students who speak English or who do not speak the same L i as themselves.  They also recommended becoming involved in  extracurricular activities such as choir and sports as strategies for creating opportunities to use English and, consequently, improving their English language proficiency. Their advice to incoming ESL students was:  76  "Learn as much as you can in both languages. They'd have to learn first in Li and then translate. Don't get behind in learning just because you have a language problem. Don't be afraid to ask [teachers and friends] for help." (Grade 10 Tagalog speaking male)  "Yd tell her to go to the library and go the park and read books and to ask people, not to be afraid to ask questions." (Grade 10 Vietnamese speaking female)  "Make more friends. Try to make friends first then learn the language so you can get help from your friends. Maybe start to communicate with the teachers and other students. Don't try to be so afraid of speaking English and try your best." (Grade 10 Cantonese speaking female)  "Stay more with natives - the ones born here. And I would definitely say read. Talk more and read more. If you work on these two things it's going to be fine." (Grade 10 Cantonese speaking male)  "To get more involved in the student body. To watch more TV, in English, that is. I think that really helps." (Grade 10 Cantonese speaking male)  "Tell him to join some sports 'cuz it really helps you to fit in." (Grade 11 M a n d a r i n speaking male)  "Don't speak Chinese Try not to speak [Li] as much as possible. Get involved in school activities, it helps you be more open. After you have confidence you're faster to accomplish stuff. Don't worry about things that much." (Grade 10 Mandarin speaking female)  "Read more. Try not to speak so much Cantonese." (Grade 9 Cantonese speaking male)  "I'd tell her to speak English and try to understand. To read a lot, watch TV and speak with other people and let them help you." (Grade 11 Polish female)  "Books [help]. My mom got me a library card right away. Sports. Anything that gets you hyper and gets the adrenaline running. It gets you talking to your friends." (Grade 10 Tagalog speaking male)  Most students, although not as many (54.5%), felt that ESL classes had helped them in other subject areas. Those who did not feel that ESL had helped prepare them for mainstream classes were unable to articulate their reasons. Most of their responses took the form of: "Idon't think so." "Not really." "A little bit, I guess." Students who agreed that ESL had indeed helped them to achieve in mainstream classes noted:  78  "For social studies, the [ESL] teacher explained more in depth if you don't understand and you ask."  (Grade 11 Taiwanese male)  "Yes. [ESL class] gived me a better understanding of the subject."  (Grade 11 Cantonese speaking male)  "Yes. Well, um, in ESL I learned a little bit before I went into regular classes so when I went into regular classes I knew a little bit about those things already."  (Grade 9 Vietnamese speaking female)  "Yeah, because you still have to use English in social studies and science, right?"  (Grade 9 Cantonese speaking female)  S u m m a r y  Most students believed that ESL classes had helped them to learn English. They commented specifically on the benefit to learning English of the slower pace of E S L classes and teachers' use of comprehensible vocabulary. Students also considered ESL class a place where they felt comfortable with, i.e., not inhibited by, their limited proficiency i n L2- Students voiced conflicting opinions about the use of L i in E S L class. Some found it useful while others felt it reduced the need to practice English.  M a n y students reported the need for more explicit grammar  instruction. They observed that there was a lack of native-like models from which to learn English. Most students recommended that to learn English, ESL students 79  must search out opportunities to interact i n English.  They suggested making  friends w i t h someone w h o d i d not share the same L\, joining sports clubs and becoming i n v o l v e d i n activities outside school time and reading i n English as effective strategies for increasing the rate and the level of E n g l i s h proficiency attained.  80  CHAPTER FIVE RESULTS A N D DISCUSSION  Introduction This chapter presents an overview of the study followed by a discussion of the research findings and their implications for further research.  Finally, the  limitations of the study and recommendations for further research are discussed.  Problem Immigrant and refugee children entering many N o r t h American schools are challenged w i t h the multiple task of learning to communicate i n English at the same time they need to use English to learn the curriculum. Learning to read i n L2 is vital to the academic success of normative English speaking students.  Indeed,  research findings show that ESL students commonly read at a level two or more years behind their native English speaking peers (Cummins, 1981a; Early 1989; Gunderson 1995a). M u c h of what we know about the process of learning to read i n L2 is adopted from research findings of studies on L i learners. Such research does not account for the diversity of nonnative English speakers' backgrounds.  In  particular, L i literacy and educational variables present a composite that affects the process of learning to read i n L2 and, consequently, academic success. However, there is little research that examines the role of background variables i n L2 reading.  Background The most critical task facing school-age L2 learners i n N o r t h America is learning to read i n English (Collier, 1987; Gunderson, 1995a,b; O l s o n , 1992; 81  Verhoeven, 1990; Wong-Filmore, 1983). Learning to read i n English is central to L2 learners' academic success, print being the medium through w h i c h most academic information is conveyed. Olson (1992) holds that "The ability to read critically is an important part of first and second language literacy" (p. 21). Collier (1987) notes the need for ESL students to acquire proficiency i n L2 i n all language domains and skill areas and i n a variety of contexts. She succinctly writes that "Language is the focus of every content-area task, w i t h all meaning and all demonstration of knowledge expressed through oral and written forms of language" (p. 618). To date, theories of L2 reading instruction are based largely on theories and models of the L i reading process. Grabe (1991) suggests that " A primary goal for ESL reading theory and instruction is to understand what fluent L l readers do, then how best to move ESL students i n that developmental direction" (p. 378). However, not all L2 learners are the same. Second language learners represent an array of cultural, linguistic and educational experiences, all of which affect learning to read i n L2- Second language learners' L l literacy and educational experiences - or lack of experiences - form the foundation for a l l their future learning. Some individuals have had extensive schooling i n L i before enrolling i n L2-only schooling. Others have suffered interruptions to their schooling - usually due to unstable socio-political situations i n the countries from w h i c h they emigrated - and still others have never been to school. Similarly, L2 learners represent a wide range of L i literacy abilities, ranging from no L i literacy to highly developed literacy skills. Bernhardt (1991) notes that "the distinction between first and second language reading processes appears first, among readers who are already literate i n one language and try to become literate in another" (p. 76). First language literacy background is significant i n learning L2- Indeed, Robson (1981) found that L l literacy was more significant than L i education i n predicting the success adult L2 learners had i n acquiring L2 reading. O n the other  82  hand, Gunderson's (1995b) results showed that the number of years of schooling i n L i was a better predictor of learning to read i n L2 than L i literacy. Second language learners' L i literacy and education i n L i greatly affect the process of acquiring L2- Research shows that cognitive development and the level of proficiency attained i n L 2 is partially a function of L i proficiency (Collier, 1989; C u m m i n s , 1979, 1981a,b,c; Skutnabb-Kangas & Toukomaa, 1976). Learners w i t h well-developed L i cognitive abilities appear to learn at a faster rate and attain higher levels of proficiency i n L2 than learners w h o have not acquired sufficient levels of L i proficiency. Second language learners' cognitive development i n L i and knowledge of L i literacy serve as a base on w h i c h to scaffold new knowledge in L2 and L2 literacy skills. Proponents of the C o m m o n U n d e r l y i n g Proficiency (CUP) model and Linguistic Interdependence Hypothesis (LIH) claim that there is a dimension of language proficiency that is common to, or interdependent across languages. That is, there are features or aspects of language proficiency that are interdependent and can transfer across linguistic systems. The interdependence hypothesis and C U P model posit that cognitive development and literacy skills learned i n one language transfer to other languages, enhancing the rate and level of proficiency attained i n the new language. Thus, the L I H predicts that cognitive and linguistic development i n L2 is partially a function of the level of cognitive development i n L i (Cummins, 1979, 1986; Skutnabb-Kangas & Toukomaa, 1976). There is an increasing body of research that provides empirical support for a common underlying proficiency. Collier and Thomas' (1987, cited i n Olsen & Leone, 1994) study of the length of time it takes students to acquire proficiency i n L2 sufficient to compete w i t h their native speaking peers showed that students w i t h two to three years of L i schooling required considerably less time than students w i t h no schooling i n L i - Royer and Carlo (1991) showed that L i reading and listening skills transferred to L2, whereas  83  general linguistic ability d i d not.  G u n d e r s o n (1995b; i n press) studied the  background variables of approximately 25,000 L2 learners to observe their effect on L2 reading and academic achievement i n L2-only schooling. H e showed that L2 learners' L2 background is significant in predicting L-2 reading. M a n y L2 learners have studied E n g l i s h i n I4 before enrolling i n L2 schooling.  Interestingly,  Gunderson's results showed that variables predictive of reading i n L i such as knowledge of the names of the letters of the alphabet i n English, are not as good at predicting reading comprehension for L2 learners as for native English speaking students. H e found that knowledge of prepositions is a more powerful predictor of L2 reading. These findings provide empirical evidence that opposes Grabe's (1991) theoretical proposition that L2 reading instruction be modeled after I4 instruction. U s i n g Factor Analysis, G u n d e r s o n identified three h i g h l y related factors:  a  Recognition Factor, a Comprehension Factor and a Composition Factor, all of which support the notion of a common underlying proficiency.  Study Seven h i g h schools were selected from a cross-section of the Vancouver School District. Data were collected i n four categories. First, baseline data were collected and coded at the Oakridge Reception and Orientation Centre w h e n families enrolled their children i n the Vancouver School District. Demographic data and information about the students' language development and L i education were obtained during family interviews conducted i n the family's I4. Students' L2 proficiency, L i and L2 literacy and math abilities were assessed using a battery of standardized and holistically scored measures. The second category of data concerned students' opinions of their L2 development. A twenty-eight item semi-structured interview protocol was used to interview students individually i n English. The interview protocol was designed to 84  explore students' use of first and second language, reading habits i n L i and L2 and homework patterns. It also considered students' perceptions of some factors that helped or inhibited their L2 development and academic achievement. Four instruments comprised the assessment battery, the third category of data. Formal group assessment of students' English reading comprehension, first and second language writing and M a t h performance was conducted from January to June 1996. First, the Passage Comprehension subtest of the Woodcock Reading Mastery T e s t / F o r m A (1973) was used to assess students' reading comprehension in English. The test was modified to conserve time. Because students taking the test were i n grades eight to eleven, the first 26 questions (31%) were eliminated; the test began w i t h item 27, estimated to be the equivalent of a m i d grade one level of reading comprehension (Woodcock, 1973). A l s o , the test was modified to be administered to groups i n a written format (Tuinman, Kinzer & M u h t a d i , 1980). Second, four criterion-based standardized M a t h tests (grades 8, 9, 10 and 11) were used to assess students' mathematics abilities. A l l tests, developed collaboratively by district math and E S L teachers to include components representing the major concepts students need to know to function at or above the specified grade level, were multiple-choice. Third, L l and L2 writing ability was assessed. English (L2), compositions comprised six prompts: two written prompts and four pictures, each w i t h a caption. Students were asked to choose one prompt and to write a composition i n English based on the prompt. There were no prompts for the L l composition. Students wrote on a topic of their o w n choosing. The final category of data was academic achievement. Grade point averages were calculated for students' final grades i n English, math, science and social studies.  85  P a r t i c i p a n t s  Participants were fifty-five students (31 males and 24 females) w h o had enrolled i n the Vancouver School District, Vancouver, British C o l u m b i a between 1990 and 1993 and were between the ages of eight and twelve on arrival. A l l participants had remained i n the Vancouver School District since registration and were enrolled i n grades eight to eleven at the time of the study. A l l students had a m i n i m u m of four years of schooling i n Vancouver. A m o n g them they spoke thirteen different L i s and came from fourteen different countries. The immigration status of students' families ranged from entrepreneur, to landed immigrant, to refugee, to Canadian citizen.  F n id n ig s and D s ic u s s o in  Students spent, on average, 2.36 years i n ESL after enrolling i n L2-schooling. C u m m i n s (1979, 1981a,b,c, 1984, 1986) identified two categories of language proficiency, BICS and C A L P . The first category of language, BICs, refers to the oral aspects of language used i n interpersonal situations and, C u m m i n s claims, is acquired i n approximately two years.  O n the other hand, C A L P , aspects of  language proficiency associated w i t h literacy-related language skills, takes, on average, five to seven years to acquire. Findings from this study suggest that all students, despite L i literacy and educational background experiences, stayed i n an ESL program until they had acquired BICs. For most, this was approximately two and a half years. Participants i n this study enrolled i n Vancouver schools between the ages of eight and twelve. A l l students began ESL i n elementary school. By the time they entered high school, many students had exited ESL. Most students felt that ESL  86  classes had helped them to learn English. Fewer, believed that ESL had helped to prepare them for other content-area subjects such as Science or social studies.  P r e v o iu sE d u c a t o i n in  Li  Collier and Thomas (1987, cited i n Olsen & Leone, 1994) found that students w i t h two to three years of schooling i n L i attained higher levels of L2 proficiency more quickly than students w h o had no L l schooling. Thus, it was hypothesized that students w h o had attended school i n L i w o u l d spend less time i n ESL than students w h o had no L i instruction or whose L i instruction had been interrupted. Pearson product-moment correlations showed no significant relationship between the time students spent i n E S L and years of L i schooling. A l l participants for w h o m data were available reported having attended school i n L i before enrolling in L2 schooling. The type and duration of schooling varied. Schooling i n the L i ranged from two to eight years w i t h an average of 4.7 years. Students reported having attended schools i n urban (52.7%), rural (3.6%), refugee (7.3%) and private situations. (18.2%). Data were missing for ten students (18.2%). The average number of years spent i n ESL was 2.36, ranging from less than one year to more than six years. Ten students were identified who spent five or more years i n ESL. Forty percent of these students had immigrated w i t h refugee status. It is likely, therefore, that their L i schooling had been interrupted due to unstable socio-political situations from w h i c h they emigrated. According to one Vietnamese girl's report, her schooling took place two hours a day for three years while i n a refugee camp i n H o n g Kong. Other students i n this 'late exit group' reported having moved two or more times before settling i n Vancouver. Their schooling during the move, if they had any, was interrupted and sometimes the language of instruction was different from both their L i and English.  87  Further analyses of the relationship between number of years of L l schooling and students' achievement i n English, social studies, math, science, L2 reading comprehension and L2 and L i writing were conducted. Pearson product-moment correlations showed statistically significant negative relationships between years of L i schooling and achievement i n English, science, social studies, L2 reading comprehension, L2 and L l writing. The strongest relationships were found for L2 reading (.50) and writing (.58), science (.48), English (.41) and socials (.38), w i t h alpha set at 0.5. These findings suggest there is a common underlying proficiency between cognitive and linguistic development i n one language and cognitive and linguistic development in L2Results from correlational analysis of years of L i schooling and time spent in ESL do not support the earlier findings of Collier and Thomas (1987).  No  significant relationship was observed for years of L l schooling and time spent i n ESL (-.11, p < .05). It is likely that the independent variable years of L i schooling, was not sufficiently defined. For example, a student having attended school for three years i n a refugee camp was not differentiated from a student w h o had received three years of private tuition. Student interviews revealed that going to school i n a refugee camp may have consisted of two hours of instruction per day, four days per week. Students reported that i n many Asian countries they went to school more than six hours per day, six days per week. Variables such as the number of school hours per day, days per week, and the number of students per class potentially affect the quality of L i schooling, thus affecting the rate and level of L2 proficiency attained.  Therefore, it is recommended that further studies  investigating the effect of L i schooling on achievement i n L2 consider the impact of such variables.  88  P r e v o iu sE n g l i s hS t u d y  The second Previous L i Education hypothesis predicted that students w h o had studied English before enrolling i n L2 schooling w o u l d spend less time i n ESL than students w h o had no previous English study.  Sixty-nine percent of the  participants reported having studied English before immigrating. The number of years students had studied English ranged from none to seven years, w i t h an average of two years. Analysis by A N O V A showed a significant difference i n L2 reading comprehension due to years of English study (F (7,43) = 4.26, p = .0012). M e a n scores on the test of L2 reading comprehension increased from one to six years of study after which they decreased. Of the ten students w h o stayed i n ESL for five or more years, half had no previous English study and an additional four students had only one year of English study. Thus, 90% of the students w h o were having trouble acquiring L2 had one or fewer years of English study before enrolling i n L2 schooling. It appears that even basic instruction in English at a young age helps students to achieve i n an L2-only program.  Li L i t e r a c y  The first L i literacy hypothesis proposed that students w h o were literate i n L l on arrival and had maintained L l literacy skills w o u l d score higher i n L2 reading comprehension than students who had not maintained literacy i n L i .  A  weak positive correlation was obtained for years of L i schooling and L i literacy (.36, p < .05). A weak negative correlation was observed between years i n ESL and L i literacy (-.33, p < .05). Thus, students who had been to school i n L i had acquired some degree of proficiency i n L i literacy and were able to transfer their knowledge of L i literacy to acquiring literacy skills i n L2- It appears that students w h o had mastered the mechanics of reading and w r i t i n g i n their L i and understood the  89  purpose of literacy were transferring this knowledge when attempting to become literate i n L2Seventy-one percent of students reported that they were stronger writers i n L2 than L l .  The remaining 29% believed that their L i w r i t i n g proficiency was  either superior or equal to their ability to write i n L2- However, analysis of L i and L2 compositions revealed that most students had not continued to develop their L i writing skills. In fact, i n the spring of 1996, nineteen students were unable to write a short composition i n their L i . Students' L2 literacy skills were significantly more developed than their L i literacy skills after a m i n i m u m of four years of L2 schooling (t = -3.31, p < .05). Approximately 70% of the students felt that their L2 writing skills needed improving. They reported experiencing occasional difficulty expressing themselves in w r i t i n g i n L2- Consequently many students said they felt they had a better chance of getting a good grade on a multiple-choice type test than on one that required them to answer i n prose. Analysis of their L2 compositions showed that, indeed, written expression i n L2 was a challenge for most L2 learners. Students voiced concern for the lack of native English speaking models and the lack of formal grammar instruction i n school. They felt that their vocabulary and grammar were not developed sufficiently for them to compete on academic entrance exams to universities and colleges. A study of the development of French immersion students' communicative competence led Harley (1990) to conclude that L2 learners develop proficiency i n L2 as a function of the interactions that they experience i n their languages. Interviews w i t h students indicate that the number and variety of opportunities for interactions i n English are limited. Despite the diversity of L i s spoken i n Vancouver schools, a situation w h i c h potentially encourages students to use L2 as it is the common language for most, students reported having plenty of opportunity to use their L i s and d i d not feel much need  90  to communicate i n English orally or i n writing, outside the classroom.  Collier  (1987) writes that "L2 is acquired to varying degrees of proficiency depending on the context i n w h i c h the acquirer needs to use it" (p. 618). Based on students' selfreports of their use of L i and L2 and the frequency w i t h which they reported being assessed using multiple-choice type exams it seems there is very little need to use L2, particularly written L2- Students are not required to write i n L2 often enough for them to develop their literacy skills such that they feel confident to express themselves i n w r i t i n g i n English. Analysis of L2 compositions suggests that L2 learners i n Vancouver schools are not developing expressive language skills i n English. Loban (1963) noted i n his findings of a longitudinal study of the language of elementary school children that differences i n students' uses of structural patterns were not necessarily notable.  H o w e v e r , there were marked differences w h e n  comparing l o w and high groups. H e concluded that "Not pattern but what is done to achieve flexibility within the pattern proves to be a measure of effectiveness and  control of language" (p. 84, emphasis i n original). Similarly, students i n the present study w h o scored h i g h o n the L2 compositions made grammatical errors comparable to those of students w h o received lower scores. However, it was what they d i d w i t h the language despite the grammar that was notable. That is, the content of their compositions was sufficient that the reader focused her attention on content as opposed to the grammar. Students receiving both high and l o w scores seemed aware that they were making grammatical errors. They felt that they had reached a plateau i n their learning and were not improving grammatically. They knew they were making mistakes but were not sure of h o w to correct themselves. One grade 10 Cantonese speaking male student so clearly articulated:  "I didn 't know what type of errors there are so I kept on writing it and the teachers kept on marking me wrong."  91  The second L l literacy hypothesis states that orthographic similarity between L i and L2 is not a predictor of L2 reading achievement. M e a n scores on the passage comprehension of the Woodcock Reading Mastery (1973) were compared for students whose L l is orthographically similar to English, for example, Tagalog and Spanish and students whose L l is orthographically different from English, for example, Cantonese and T w i . N o significant difference was found for the two groups (t = .105, p = .747). Based on these findings it appears that orthographic similarity is not a predictor of L2 reading achievement. However, I caution against d r a w i n g conclusions based o n this small sample. In this study students w i t h an L l orthographically different from English were more likely to have landed immigrant status, to have been schooled i n L i longer and to have studied E n g l i s h before  i m m i g r a t i n g than were students whose L i was  orthographically similar to English. To assess the effect of orthographic similarity and difference on L2 acquisition, it w o u l d be better to conduct a more detailed tracking study d u r i n g w h i c h samples of students' L2 w r i t i n g was obtained and assessed at different developmental stages.  L2 Literacy and Academic Achievement L2 literacy and academic achievement hypothesis states that students w h o have w e l l developed expressive language skills w i l l be more  successful  academically than students who have less developed expressive language skills. L2 compositions were considered a measure of students' expressive language. Pearson product-moment correlations were conducted to observe relationships between L2 w r i t i n g ability and achievement i n key academic courses and L2 reading comprehension. Strong positive correlations were found for L2 composition and achievement i n English (.63), L2 reading comprehension (.53), social studies (.50) and science (.47), w i t h alpha set at .001. English and social studies traditionally  92  require more reading and writing than other subjects. It is not surprising, therefore, that there was a h i g h correlation between these subjects and L2 reading and L2 writing abilities. Furthermore, students w h o considered English and socials their least favourite subjects offered the reading and writing demands as a reason for disliking these subjects. A grade 10 Cantonese speaking male commented: "I don't like English. Not all part of English, I like poetry unit and some creative writing units. I think I don't like it because I don't really write well and Social studies. I don't like Social studies and it takes me forever."  A grade 9 Tagalog speaking female said: "English is most difficult because writing paragraphs and I don't know where to put the grammars."  Another grade 9 Cantonese speaking female reported that English required the most time, was the most difficult and her least liked subject: "English [takes the most time] when I'm writing a project or an essay. I have less vocab and sometimes have problems putting my thoughts to paper."  A weaker positive correlation was obtained for L2 writing and math (.34, p < .05). The strong correlations between proficiency i n L2 writing and reading and four critical academic courses emphasize the need for L2 learners to develop proficiency i n L2 reading and w r i t i n g to achieve academically i n an L2-only program.  93  Summary and Conclusion The present study investigated refugee and immigrant students' educational and literacy backgrounds and their effect on learning L2 while using that language (L2) to learn n e w subject material.  In particular, the study examined the  relationship between: the number of years students had attended school i n I4 and the length of time they spent i n E S L classes; the number of years students had attended school i n L i and academic achievement; the effect of studying English before enrolling i n L2 schooling on the length of time students spent i n ESL classes; and, the effect of studying English before enrolling i n L2 schooling on academic achievement. A l s o considered were changes i n students' L2 reading and writing after a m i n i m u m of four years of L2 schooling and the role of orthographic similarity and difference between L i and L2 and the nature of L2 reading development.  Students' L i and L2 reading practices, study habits and their  perceptions of some factors that helped or inhibited their L2 development and academic achievement were described. Findings from the present study support those of previous research. Second language learners spend, on average, two and a half years i n E S L during w h i c h time they appear to acquire proficiency i n oral aspects of language required for interpersonal communication. Students take longer, more than four years of instruction i n English, to achieve grade level proficiency i n L2 reading and writing. A l l participants showed gains i n L2 reading comprehension after a m i n i m u m of four years of L2 schooling. However, most were reading at two or more grade levels b e l o w the grade i n w h i c h they were enrolled.  Students experienced  problems expressing themselves i n w r i t i n g i n L2. The level of proficiency L2 learners acquire i n different language domains and skill areas is partially a function of their need to use the language and the interactions that they have w i t h the language.  W i t h the recent increase i n the number of L2 learners enrolling i n  94  Vancouver schools, there is a noticeable lack of native English speaking models. The absence of native-like models limits opportunities for students to interact i n L2Students' writing showed that they are not acquiring knowledge of the linguistic forms of L2 at an age-appropriate level. This has serious implications for students planning to continue their studies at the college or university level. M a n y students feel they w o u l d benefit from more explicit grammar instruction. First language literacy and educational background has a significant effect on learning L2- Second language learners' L i educational backgrounds had a positive effect on their acquisition of L2 and their academic achievement.  Students  who performed w e l l i n L2 reading and writing also achieved highly i n key subject areas such as English, social studies, science and math. Students w h o had been schooled i n L i had also acquired proficiency i n L i literacy skills. These students spent less time i n E S L than students w i t h less advantaged L l educational and literacy backgrounds.  Results of this study support the notion of a common  underlying proficiency. The level of proficiency i n L l literacy that students had attained before commencing L2 schooling enhanced the rate and level of their L2 literacy development. Most L2 learners despite their L i educational and literacy backgrounds, are placed i n ESL classes when they enroll i n L2 schooling. After four or more years, students showed gains i n their L2 reading and writing proficiency. Except for students at the 'high' and 'low' ends of the spectrum, there were no notable differences i n students' progress. It seems that most students benefited, to some degree, from the current program. However, it is likely that more students w o u l d have achieved greater gains i n L2 proficiency if instruction on arrival were different depending on students' L i school experiences. Findings from this study showed a relationship between students' L i schooling and L i literacy. Students who had not acquired L i literacy skills had to learn the mechanics of reading and writing and  95  the functions of literacy i n English.  Their needs were different from those of  students who had extensive schooling i n I4 and had w e l l developed L l literacy skills.  Limitations This study was designed to investigate the reading development and academic achievement of fifty-five ESL students i n the Vancouver School District. A l l participants were between the ages of eight and twelve years at the time they enrolled i n the district. A l l participants were enrolled i n at least their fourth consecutive school year i n the Vancouver School District. The sample selected is reflective of students w h o meet these criteria. Findings from this study cannot be generalized to student populations from different districts and w i t h different A O A and L O R . A study of the effect of immigrant and refugee students' backgrounds and their affect on learning L2 is complex. The present study attempted to observe relationships between students' L i educational and literacy backgrounds and the length of time spent i n ESL. First language educational background was measured as the number of years students had attended school i n L i .  This is only a very  crude measure as variables such as the number of school hours per day, and days per week, the number of students per class and the language of instruction a l l interact to determine the quality of a year of instruction. Further studies of the effect of L l schooling on L2 achievement should consider these variables i n the definition of a construct of L i schooling. Fifty-five students participated i n this study.  A m o n g them they spoke  thirteen different L i s . Therefore, there were only a small number of students in any one language group. Analysis of data by L i , for example, was not possible. Such analyses may prove interesting, however, and should be considered for future 96  research. A larger sample is necessary to observe differences due to traits such as: gender, immigration status, L i and, country of origin, for example.  Suggestions for Further Study The results of the present study suggest: 1.  There is a need for large scale studies to explore the diversity w i t h i n the  population called ESL. 2.  There are a large number of variables w h i c h interact, influencing students'  acquisition of L2 and their academic achievement. Further studies investigating the effect of background variables on L2 acquisition should consider such variables as L i , L i schooling and gender, for example. 3.  Case study research of students such as those w h o exited ESL i n the early  and late groups are needed to gain an in-depth understanding of w h y some students seem to be more resilient learners than others. Similarly, there are a few students whose L i literacy and educational background experiences are limited and yet they acquire L2 and achieve i n L2 schooling, nevertheless.  Further  investigation of these students' learning processes may provide insight into the process of L2 acquisition and academic achievement.  97  REFERENCES  Barton, D a v i d (1992). When a learner attempts to become literate i n a second language, what is he or she attempting? TESL Talk. 20 (1), 6 - 32. Bernhardt, E. B. (1991). Reading Development In A Second Language: Theoretical, Empirical A n d Classroom Perspectives. Ablex Publishing Corporation. British Columbia Ministry of Education, Skills & Training (1996). Student Data Collection (Form 1701). Victoria, B.C. The Queen's Press. Carson, Joan E. (1990). Reading-writing relationships i n first and second language. T E S O L Quarterly. 24 (2), Summer, 245 - 266. Coelho, Elizabeth (1994). Social integration of immigrant and refugee children. In F. Genesee (Ed.), Educating Second Language Children: The Whole C h i l d . The Whole Curriculum. The Whole Community, (pp. 301-327). Cambridge University Press. Collier, V . P . (1987). A g e and rate of acquisition of L2 for academic purposes. TESOL Quarterly. 21 (4), 617-641. Collier, V . P . (1989). H o w long? A synthesis of research on academic achievement i n a second language. TESOL Quarterly. 23 (3), Sept., 509 - 531. Collier, V . P . (1994). Sociocultural processes i n academic, cognitive and language development. Plenary Address, TESOL International, Baltimore, Maryland. Cummins, J. (1979). Cognitive/academic language proficiency, linguistic interdependence, the optimum age question and some other matters. Working papers on Bilingualism, 19.197-205. Cummins, J. (1980). The entrance and exit fallacy i n bilingual education. N A B E Tournal. 4 (3), 25-59. Cummins, J. (1981a). A g e on arrival and immigrant L 2 learning i n Canada: A reassessment. A p p l i e d Linguistics, 2 (2), 132-149.  98  Cummins, J. (1981b). Bilingualism A n d Minority Language Children. Toronto, Ontario. OISE Press. Cummins, J. (1981c). The role of primary language development i n promoting educational success for language minority students. In Schooling and Language Minority Students. Los Angeles: California State University. Cummins, J. (1982). Tests, achievement and bilingual students. F O C U S , 9. National Clearing House for Bilingual Education. Cummins, J. (1983). Language proficiency and academic achievement. In J.W. Oiler Jr. (Ed.), Issues i n Language Testing Research, (pp. 108-126). Rowley, M A : N e w b u r y House. Cummins, J. (1984). Bilingualism A n d Special Education: Issues In Assessment A n d Pedagogy. Cleavedon, England: Multicultural Matters. Cummins, J. (1986). Linguistic interdependence: A central principle of bilingual education. In J. Cummins & M . Swain (Eds.). Bilingualism i n Education: Aspects Of Theory, Research A n d Practice, (pp. 80-95). N e w York: Longman Group U K Limited. Early, M . (1989). A snapshot of ESL students' integration patterns. TESL Canada Tournal. 7 (1), 52-60. Early, M . (1992). Aspects of becoming an academically successful ESL student. In B. Burnaby & A . C u m m i n g (Eds.). Socio-political Aspects of ESL. (pp. 265 - 275). OISE Press, Ontario. Edelsky, C , Hudelson, S., Flores, B., Barkin, F., Altwerger, B. & Jilbert, K . (1983). Semilingualism and language deficit. A p p l i e d Linguistics, 4 (1), 1-22. Goodman, K . (1967). Reading: A psycholinguistic guessing game. Tournal of the Reading Specialist, 6,126 -135. Grabe, W i l l i a m (1991). Current developments i n second language reading research. TESOL Quarterly. 26 (3), 375 - 406. Gunderson, L. (1995a). Review of ESL Support Services. School District N o . 38, Richmond British Columbia.  99  Gunderson, L . (1995b) "Background variables and second language reading." Paper presented at IRA, Anaheim, M a y . Gunderson, L . (in press) Predictors of Academic Achievement i n EnglishOnly School. Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates. M a h i w a h , N J . Hamayan, E. V . (1994). Language development of low-literacy students. In F. Genesse (Ed.), Educating Second Language Children: The Whole C h i l d . The Whole Curriculum. The Whole Community, (pp. 278 -300). Cambridge University Press. Harley, B. (Ed.). (1990). The Development O f Second Language Proficiency. OISE Press. Handscombe, Jean (1994). Putting it all together. In F. Genesse (Ed.), Educating Second Language Children: The Whole C h i l d , The Whole Curriculum, The Whole Community, (pp. 331 -356). Cambridge University Press. Krashen, S., Long, M . & Scarcella, R. (1979). Age, rate and eventual attainment i n second language acquisition. TESOL Quarterly. 13 (4), D e c , 573 - 582. Lambert, W.E. (1977). The effects of bilingualism on the individual: cognitive and sociocultural consequences. In P A . Hornby (Ed.), Bilingualism: psychological, social and educational implications, (pp. 15 - 27). Academic Press, N e w York. Loban, Walter (1963). The Language Of Elementary School Children. National Council Of Teachers Of English. Olsen, R. E. & Leone, B. (1994). Sociocultural processes i n academic, cognitive, and language development. TESOL Matters, 4 (3), 1,18 Olson, D . (1992). When a learner attempts to become literate i n a L2, what is he or she attempting? The Forum. TESL Talk. 20 fl). 18-22. Piper, T. (1993). Language For A l l Our Children. Prentice H a l l Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Robson, B. (1981). Alternatives i n ESL and literacy: Ban vinai. Washington, D.C.: Centre for A p p l i e d Linguistics.  100  Royer, J . M . & Carlo, M.S. (1991). Transfer of comprehension skills from native to L2. Tournal of Reading, 34 (6), 450-455. Saville-Troike, M . (1984). What really matters in L 2 learning for academic achievement? TESOL Quarterly. 18 (2), 199-219. Sinclair Bell, Jill (1995). The relationship between L l and L 2 literacy: Some complicating factors. TESOL Quarterly. 29 (4), 687-704. Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove & Toukomaa, P. (1976). Teaching migrant children's mother tongue and learning the language of the host country i n the context of the socio-cultural situation of the migrant family. Helsinki: The Finnish National Commission for U N E S C O . Swain, M . (1986). A review of immersion education i n Canada: Research and evaluation studies. In J. C u m m i n s & M . Swain (Eds.). Bilingualism i n Education: Aspects O f Theory, Research A n d Practice, (pp. 37 - 56). N e w York: Longman Group U K Limited. Swain, M & Lapkin, S. (1982). Evaluating bilingual education: A Canadian case study. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters. Tuinman, J., Kinzer, C . & Muhtadi, N . (1980). A short-cut to testing passage comprehension. Reading Horizons. 20 (2), Winter, 103 - 105. Verhoeven, L u d o T. (1990). Acquisition of reading i n a L2. Reading Research Quarterly. 25 (2), 90-114. Woodcock, R.W. (1987). Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests - Revised. American Guidance Service, Inc. Woodcock, R.W. (1973). Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests. American Guidance Service, Inc. Weinstein, G a i l (1984). Literacy and Second Language Acquisition: Issues and perspectives. TESOL Quarterly. 19 (3), 471-484. Wong-Filmore, L . (1983). The language learner as an individual. O n TESOL '82: Pacific perspectives on language learning and teaching. Washington, D . C : TESOL International.  101  APPENDIX 1 INTERVIEW PROTOCOL  Name:  Date:  School:  Grade:  1)  In which language are y o u strongest at: (a) speaking (b) reading (c) writing  2)  H o w often do you:  use L l :  use L2:  (a) all the time  (a) all the time  (b) 112 the time  (b) 112 the time  (c) seldom  (c) seldom  3)  W i t h w h o m / i n what situations do you use L l :  4)  W i t h w h o m / i n what situations do y o u use L2:  5)  D o y o u enjoy reading?  6)  In what languages do y o u read?  7)  For what purpose(s) do y o u read? (pleasure, study)  8)  What do y o u read? (texts, magazines, books, letters)  9)  H o w many h o u r s / d a y (week?) do y o u read?  10)  Do y o u believe that knowing how to read i n L l has helped y o u to learn to read i n L2?  W h y / w h y not? In what ways?  103  11)  When y o u experience difficulty i n school who helps you? (parent, sibling, peer, teacher)  12)  H o w do y o u get help?  13)  Have ESL classes helped you: (a) to learn English? (b) w i t h your course work?  14)  What is your opinion/comments of ESL classes? —If student responds that s/he didn't like/value ESL, what suggestions w o u l d s/he make to improve the ESL services for incoming students?  15)  What has helped y o u the most i n learning English?  16)  What has helped y o u the most w i t h school work?  17)  H o w many h o u r s / d a y do y o u spend doing homework?  18)  Which subjects require the most time?  19)  What is your favourite/least liked subject? Why?  20)  Which subjects are easiest? Why?  21)  W h i c h subjects are most difficult? Why?  22)  O n what type of tests do you do best? Why? (multiple choice, essay, problem solving, fill i n the blank)  23)  A r e y o u able to express yourself adequately on tests and assignments?  24)  Do y o u think y o u are a good student? W h y / w h y not?  25)  What were the most difficult things to get used to (in Canadian schools)?  26)  What advice w o u l d y o u offer a new ESL student?  27)  What w o u l d y o u do differently if y o u could start over?  28)  What are your plans for the future/after graduation?  104  APPENDIX 2 FIRST L A N G U A G E S CONSIDERED O R T H O G R A P H I C A L L Y SIMILAR T O A N D DIFFERENT F R O M ENGLISH  Orthographically Similar L i s  Orthographically Different L i s  Polish  Cantonese  Spanish  Chu Chow  Tagalog  Hakka  Vietnamese  Japanese Mandarin Pushto Taiwanese Tamil Twi  105  

Cite

Citation Scheme:

    

Usage Statistics

Country Views Downloads
Japan 7 0
United States 4 1
Australia 3 0
Russia 3 0
China 2 0
Canada 1 0
City Views Downloads
Tokyo 7 0
Ashburn 3 0
Sovetsk 3 0
Shenzhen 2 0
Brisbane 2 0
Vancouver 1 0
Marina 1 0
Unknown 1 7

{[{ mDataHeader[type] }]} {[{ month[type] }]} {[{ tData[type] }]}
Download Stats

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0078106/manifest

Comment

Related Items