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Toward an understanding of academically successful English as a second language students Gentry, Lorna Edith 1988

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TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF ACADEMICALLY SUCCESSFUL ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE STUDENTS by LORN A E. GENTRY B. Ed. (Elem), University of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver, 19 76 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Language Education Department We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1988. (c) Lorna E. Gentry, 19 88. In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date DE-6(3/81) ABSTRACT TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF ACADEMICALLY SUCCESSFUL ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE STUDENTS Twenty-five ESL students who were identified by teachers as "academically successful", i.e. with at l e a s t a C average in the i r regular courses, were interviewed, using an openended conversational approach. Informants shared their own perspectives on their ESL and regular classroom experiences, their perceptions about themselves as students and their s t r a t e g i e s for success. They compared experiences in Canada and their native countries, and talked about th e i r home background. They were encouraged to identify both strengths and problems in their education experiences, and to suggest changes in the schools to help themselves as well as l e s s s u c c e s s f u l students. Data concluded that informants showed additive billngualism, many use L l to learn their academic work, and overwhelmingly they support ESL classes which they credit with f u l f i l l i n g both academic and aff e c t i v e needs. Academic work in the home country t r a n s f e r s to subjects such as Math, but they express f r u s t r a t i o n with written assignments and essay questions in subjects with heavy language requirements. In general there is l i t t l e involvement with native-speaking peers. Informants were found to be highly disciplined, with high future aspirations. i i ABSTRACT LIST OF TABLES TABLE OF CONTENTS i i : ACKNOWLEDGMENTS V i i Chapter 1. OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY 1 A. The Problem B. Background to the Problem 1. The Vancouver S e t t i n g 2. H i s t o r i c Background 2. REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE 11 A. Academic Success and Language L e a r n i n g B. C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of B i l i n g u a l Education C. A f f e c t i v e F a c t o r s D. D i f f e r e n c e s Between E t h n i c Groups E. The "Ask the Learner" Approach 3. THE STUDY 2 7 A. The Method B. The S e t t i n g C. The Informants D. Data C o l l e c t i o n 4. DIMENSIONS OF STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES 38 A. Informants' P e r c e p t i o n s About T h e i r Native C o u n t r i e s B. P e r c e p t i o n s About Themselves as Students Chapter 4 (con't) C. In the ESL Classroom D. The ESL Student i n the Regular Classroom E. Student S t r a t e g i e s F. Home E f f e c t on Sc h o o l i n g 5. CONCLUSION 88 A. Relevant Issues from the L i t e r a t u r e 1. Use of L l f o r Academic L e a r n i n g In the Home Country 2. I n t e r a c t i o n With Native Speakers 3. Vocabulary as the Language S k i l l Most Related t o Academic Success 4. " A d d i t i v e " Q u a l i t i e s f o r A s s e s s i n g B i l i n g u a l Programs 5. D i f f e r e n c e s According to E t h n i c Group B. Other Issues A r i s i n g from the Data 1. Education i n the Home Country 2. D i s c i p l i n e and Time t o Achieve Academic Success 3. A Second Look at Academic "Success" 4. Student S t r a t e g i e s C. I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r I n s t r u c t i o n A r i s i n g from the Data 1. A Role f o r ESL Support 2. Communication i n the Classroom ;iv Chapter 5 (con't) 3. Cooperation Between ESL and Subject Teachers 4. I n t e r a c t i o n Between ESL and Native Speaking Students D. Suggestions f o r Furt h e r Research E. C l o s i n g Comments CHAPTER NOTES 118 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 122 Appendix A: ESL STUDENT QUESTIONAIRE 125 v LIST OF TABLES I. Informant Background Information 34 I I . Parents' E d u c a t i o n and Occupation i n Native Country and i n Canada 41 I I I . Comparison of P a r e n t a l E x p e c t a t i o n s For T h e i r C h i l d r e n With Informants' Own E x p e c t a t i o n s 44 IV: Informants' Subject P r e f e r e n c e s 61 V. Informants' Use of Unscheduled Time 76 v i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS There are many people who have helped to bring this work to i t s f i n a l stage. F i r s t , I am indebted to Professor Bernard Mohan, who a s s i s t e d as my supervisor and has overseen this project throughout. I thank him for his insights and suggestions, his constant support and patience. In addition I want to acknowledge other faculty members in the Language Education Department at the University of Br i t i s h Columbia who have helped in many ways, p a r t i c u l a r l y Professor Mary Ashworth and A s s i s t a n t Professor Margaret Early. I am also g r a t e f u l to the teachers and students who were involved in this study, in par t i c u l a r Vancouver ESL teacher, Hugh Hooper. I thank them a l l . Finally I want to give special recognition to many special friends and family members for their help, their constant love and encouragement. v i i Chapter I TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF ACADEMICALLY SUCCESSFUL ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE STUDENTS: AN OVERVIEW A: The Problem Large numbers o£ ESL students go through the public school system in Canada. Educators (Cummins 1984) t e l l us that such students are over represented in special education and remedial classrooms, and many drop out of the system without completing th e i r education. This fact should make i t imperative to examine possible f a c t o r s f o r success in those ESL students who appear to succeed. What can we as educators learn from these students? Where students must learn through the medium of a second language (L2) 1 they will get very l i t t l e out of their content c l a s s e s i f they lack adequate understanding of L2. In this education model they depend upon ESL support c l a s s e s t o provide the necessary instruction in the target language to prepare them for their academic class e s . It i s imperative that ESL c l a s s e s be as e f f e c t i v e and e f f i c i e n t as possible to shorten the length of time where the ESL students' academic education i s placed on hold while they master the language of instruction. It i s becoming more and more apparent that this length of time is longer than previously expected. There is -1-recognition that fluency in o r a l communication is not necessarily related to the language proficiency required f o r academic success. Where students may appear to have mastered English within one or two years, there Is evidence to show that this is an inadequate amount of time for most to achieve the required language proficiency to succeed in academic tasks. (Cummins 1981, Wong-Fillmore 1983, Collier 1987) With the recognition of at l e a s t two kinds of language proficiency, i.e. communicative fluency and the proficiency required for academic tasks, there has been a s h i f t in focus from language for communication (narrowly interpreted as conversation) to language as a f a c t o r in academic success, i.e. "the interaction between learning to talk and talking to learn". (Mohan 19 81, 11) We should distinguish between quantitative and qualitative research on these issues. Studies of bilingual education have looked at the quantitative aspect of the issue, such as which programs are apt to enhance the academic success of non-native speakers who, through necessity or by choice, are getting their education in t h e i r second language. Such studies, for example, have attempted to explain apparent inconsistencies, such as marked successes in Canadian French immersion programs in contrast to below norm achievement of minority language students, noting in conclusion that a f f e c t i v e f a c t o r s such as - 2 -recognition of students' (Ll), socioeconomic status (SES), and positive experiences of billnguallsm, I.e. an "additive" rather than "subtractive" outcome, appear to be salient f a c t o r s for academic success in bilingual students. 3 While useful as global indicators, such quantitative studies do not illuminate well the experiences of individuals as they succeed or f a i l in their academic courses. From a qualitative point of view, a case study of academically s u c c e s s f u l students from minority groups whose f i r s t language enjoys no parti c u l a r recognition or status within the majority culture and who receive no instruction in t h e i r f i r s t language, should serve to illuminate those educational experiences which are positive, and identify e f f e c t i v e educational st r a t e g i e s , some possible areas for change, and some f r u i t f u l directions for further research. While qualitative studies have looked at the question of success in language learning, (Naiman et a l . 1978, Rubin 197 5) t o my knowledge no studies have attempted t o get the ESL learners' perspectives on this issue of academic success with the purpose of gaining a sense of the concrete context within which he/she has successf u l l y functioned. In this case study we will take into account the wider context, i.e. the interaction of the student within a certain academic and home environment. We might expect, given their success, that these students, who enjoy l i t t l e " o f f i c i a l " recognition of the - 3 -importance of their f i r s t language, must receive some "unofficial" recognition or some compensatory experiences either from their own background or from the school. We might also expect that their s t r a t e g i e s for studying and completing their assignments could possibly provide models of e f f e c t i v e s t r a t e g i e s to be shared with those who are l e s s successful. We would presume that there will be many individual s t y l e s within this category of "successful" student, and that there may be differences according to ethnic background. The goal here is not to find a "representative" ESL student as subject to be generalized to the whole ESL population, but to r e f l e c t on theories of language and content learning by looking for patterns in success, at what students themselves perceive as their own strengths and weaknesses, and at what they perceive as positive in their home, school, and c u l t u r a l background. It cannot be assumed that ESL students are a monolithic group. While one can expect d i v e r s i t y according to c u l t u r a l or language background, differences among those who share the same f i r s t language are also likely. B. Background to the Problem This discussion will be presented in two parts. F i r s t , the s i t u a t i o n in Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia, the location for this study, will be introduced, followed by a more general discussion of Canadian h i s t o r y as i t relates to education of minority students and bilingual education. - 4 -1. The Vancouver Setting In Vancouver just over half of the school population, representing 85 different ethnic groups, comes from an ESL background. 2 This large number of students constitutes 60% of a l l ESL students in the province of B.C. In Vancouver 10,437 of these students of ESL background receive some kind of ESL assistance. This assistance may take the form of "reception" or regular ESL classes, where students newly arrived with l i t t l e or no English are introduced into the Canadian school system. The procedure for part or f u l l integration into regular classes may d i f f e r within schools, but generally students identified by ESL teachers as "ready" are, in consultation With the school counsellor, assessed using both standardized and teacher prepared t e s t s . These may include reading and grammar t e s t s as well as samples of students' written work. In some schools t r a n s i t i o n a l courses, where instruction i s based on the required course of study, is modified to serve the special needs of ESL students. While t r a n s i t i o n a l courses do not earn " o f f i c i a l " credit, i.e. toward meeting requirements for secondary school graduation, t h e i r s u c c e s s f u l completion can perhaps allow students entry at a higher grade l e v e l -- that is they may, for example, go d i r e c t l y into a grade ten Social Studies course, bypassing the grade nine l e v e l course. Ongoing support in English Learning Centres (ELC's) i s offered through individual tutoring and small group instruction. - 5 -This study looks at twenty-five of these students who have achieved a degree of success following their mainstreaming into regular content classes. We will attempt to gauge their aspirations and daily f r u s t r a t i o n s , those elements of their education which they perceive as succ e s s f u l and positive, and those which they wish could be changed. 2. Historic Background The h i s t o r i c question of language-learning in Canada i s an important dimension in our more immediate question of bilingualism, ESL students and academic success. Canada i s a country of one million or more Native Indian people and millions of new Canadians of every ethnic and r a c i a l background. We have the mingling of two great European soc i e t i e s , the French and English. The special place of Native people, the rights of the English and French language, and of multiculturalism, i s entrenched in our Constitution. However, minority languages have been accorded l i t t l e importance by the majority group, apparently with the view that assimilation would be advantageous both for the indigenous native population and for ethnic minorities. While millions of new Canadians have l o s t their mother tongue and have anglicized their names, (Ashworth 19 88) the existence of heritage language classes a t t e s t to the will of other immigrants who, determined that their children - 6 -should not lose their heritage as exemplified in their native language, have acted to prevent the withering of minority languages. 3 Given the d i v e r s i t y of cultures within i t s borders, Canada is in an advantageous position to "champion ethnolinguistic d i v e r s i t y for the benefit of pan-human c r e a t i v i t y , problem solving, and mutual c r o s s - c u l t u r a l acceptance." (Fishman 19 8 2, 1) And i f we believe, as does Fishman, that "the world's l i t t l e languages and peoples are a treasure trove of wisdom and refinement" (Fishman 1982, 9) we must view the loss of native language to the individual as an unforgivable t r a v e s t y . Indeed Cummins (19 8 4) suggests that the success of a bilingual program is measured by the degree of "additive" bilingualism attained by the student. "Subtractive" bilingualism, where students replace or lose their native language while in the process of learning the target language i s , by definition, a failure of the educational system and a disservice to the student. The p e c u l i a r i t i e s to the Canadian situation are apparent. Thomas Berger, speaking on the topic of the constitution and the humanities s t a t e s , ...though the French and English languages are c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y protected, and thus stand on a different footing from the language of other ethnic groups in Canada, they are in a sense a bulwark for those languages... Constitutional protection of French and English makes the way easier for other languages, because i t negates the idea of a monolithic culture. In the same way the guarantees to the Indians, the Inuit and the Metis exemplify the Canadian belief in d i v ersity. In this way the i n t e r e s t s of the linguistic communities, and of the aboriginal peoples, merge with the idea of multiculturalism. 4 - 7 -Much progress in bilingual education has taken place since the time of r e s i d e n t i a l schools for Native Indians (Ashworth 1979) and lack of French language rights in provinces other than Quebec. In English Canada bilingualism has become a popular educational goal. While for some time French (or other languages such as Spanish and German) has been offered to meet the language requirement for secondary school graduation, bilingualism was not the outcome. Immersion students att a i n levels of achievement far beyond students in core French programs. (Cummins and Swain, 1986) With the St. Lambert Experiment (19 7 2), i n i t i a t e d by anglophone parents in the St. Lambert area of Montreal, (Lambert and Tucker, 19 7 2) a snowballing e f f e c t a t t e s t s to this shift in awareness of bilingualism as a desired learning outcome. With the evidence of the beneficial e f f e c t s of French immersion programs, i.e. that students can become bilingual without loss of f i r s t language sk i l l s , that bilingualism appears to promote some cognitive benefits, and that in Canada fluency in both majority languages accrue economic, p o l i t i c a l and c u l t u r a l benefits, Anglophone parents throughout Canada increasingly request French immersion programs for t h e i r children. The waiting l i s t s and continuing requests by parents for more French immersion programs a t t e s t to the success and popularity of this bilingual program. 3 What of bilingualism and ESL programs? - 8 -It appears to be taking much longer to identify "additive bilingualism" as the optimal educational objective for minority language students, and to recognize that bilingualism for ESL students is a learning feat equal to the accomplishment of suc c e s s f u l French Immersion students. Cummins and Swain point out that Although immersion students appear to attai n native-like receptive s k i l l s , their productive skills continue to remain non-native-like. They are, however, quite capable of communicating their ideas in spite of their grammatical weaknesses. It was suggested that this same l e v e l of productive skills in the second language among minority students would not be considered acceptable by the educational system. That i t is praised within the majority culture when attained by majority language students and denigrated when attained by minority language students, i s indicative of a linguistic double standard. (Cummins and Swain 19 86, 49) Perhaps because ESL programs have had the connotation of being remedial or special needs programs there has not been a similar emphasis on the i r importance, nor a body of evaluative research similar to that in the French immersion situation. Extra federal funding, available for French immersion programs, is unavailable for those of heritage language immersion programs or for ESL programs. While some Indian bands, again with federal funding, have in recent years i n i t i a t e d and supervised t h e i r own schools, in order to incorporate some instruction of the aboriginal language and culture, there are few examples of minority language bilingual immersion programs in Canada. However, the trend toward immersion programs, other than French, appears to be growing. 6 - 9 -As Ashworth points out, The time has come to put some time, money, and e f f o r t into eliminating the ba r r i e r s that stand between men. Of a l l countries Canada has the greatest opportunity to show that this can be done. This land contains people of many cultures and many races; i t i s a land of great economic potential: but a mosaic is a fragile thing held together by balance and harmony and eas i l y shattered. The quality of education given to Canadian born and foreign-born students in our schools will a f f e c t the balance and harmony both now and in the days t o come. (Ashworth 19 75, 19 2) Following Ashworth's view of this positive role for bilingual education in Canada I will now address the particular issues for this study. - 10 -Chapter II REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE In this chapter I discuss t h e o r e t i c a l concerns related to academic success of ESL learners, bearing in mind that informants for this study are participants in the educational model whereby the immigrant student is f i r s t enrolled in a regular ESL c l a s s , and following his/her achievement of what is deemed a s a t i s f a c t o r y l e v e l of language proficiency, proceeds to regular class where instruction is offered through the medium of the second language. Central to the work of this study are four main issues which will be discussed in turn in the context of relevant t h e o r e t i c a l work. These are (1) academic success as distinct from success in language learning. This approach r e f l e c t s the s h i f t in emphasis in ESL education from learning the target language as an end In i t s e l f , to using the language as a means to an end, i.e. to learn academic content. Following the discussion on "academic proficiency" v i s - a - v i s "language proficiency", I will in turn discuss (2) c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of bilingual education, (3) a f f e c t i v e f a c t o r s relevant to ESL learners in regular classrooms, and (4) differences in academic success between ethnic groups. This discussion of t h e o r e t i c a l aspects will be followed by a discussion of some case studies in the l i t e r a t u r e using a similar approach for data gathering, i.e. an "ask the learner" approach. - 11 -A: Academic Success and Language Learning The major t h e o r e t i c a l work on academic success of bilingual ESL students is contained in the work of Cummins. Past practice has largely been based on the precept that learning to speak the target language must precede instruction in academic courses, and this tended to ignore the importance of previously learned academic concepts already internalized by the student in his/her LI. Cummins (1979, 1981, 1984) recognizes this when he argues that there i s more to language competence than proficiency in o r a l communication. He proposes that fluency in conversational language or "basic interpersonal communication s t r a t e g i e s " (BICS) i s only one manifestation of language proficiency — that the language proficiency necessary to study and process more abstract concepts in academic courses or CALP ("cognitive academic language proficiency") i s a separate construct. He exemplifies the concept of two p a r a l l e l language proficiencies with a "dual iceberg" representation; the iceberg tips representing surface language fluency in both LI and L2, with the common base of the iceberg representing a "common underlying proficiency" (CUP). (Cummins 19 8 4, 143) This model i l l u s t r a t e s the "interdependence of conceptual knowledge across languages", which appears to account for the more rapid progress of older learners to acquire vocabulary when compared with that of younger learners. - 12 -It may appear surprising that older learners make more rapid progress in acquiring L2 in view o£ the popular myth that there is an optimal pre-pubertal age for L2 acquisition. However, a major reason for the advantage is obvious when the data are viewed from within the context of the CUP model. For example, in learning the term 'democracy' the task f o r a fourteen-year-old immigrant child consists of acquiring a new label for a concept already developed in L l ; f o r a six-year-old immigrant child the term will not be acquired un t i l the concept has been developed. The advantage of older learners l i e s in the interdependence of conceptual knowledge across languages. (Cummins and Swain 19 86, 83) Savllle-Troike, (1984) looking c l o s e l y at academic success at the elementary school l e v e l , appears to support Cummins' idea of the BICS / CALP distinction. She concludes in her a n a l y t i c a l study that vocabulary i s the language s k i l l most related to academic success and that the one f a c t o r which did make a difference for academic achievement was the opportunity for students to discuss concepts in their L l with peers or adults. Ironically she found that the lowest academic achievers were also the most suc c e s s f u l at interpersonal communication. Not a l l educators agree with Cummins's BICS / CALP distinction. For example, Edelsky et al. (1983) challenge Cummins. They argue that BICS and CALP are not separate constructs, but are interactive, on the basis that listening and speaking sk i l l s (BICS) are c i t e d by reading s p e c i a l i s t s as the prerequisite for developing the l i t e r a c y s k i l l of reading and writing (CALP). In addition Edelsky et a l raise the question of academic achievement, questioning the j u s t i f i c a t i o n of Cummins's reliance on standardized t e s t - 13 -scores, arguing that these do not t r u l y measure students' academic achievement but merely "the a b i l i t y to do the kinds of tasks usually associated with ditto sheet exercises in a t e s t - l i k e setting". (Edelsky et al. 19 83, 11) While reading s p e c i a l i s t s (Goodman, 1986; May, 1986) do appear to accept that o r a l language is the the basis for teaching reading there are nonetheless many i l l i t e r a t e s , but very few (the exception being those with physical or mental (disabilities) who lack the a b i l i t y to speak a language. This would lead us to suspect that different cognitive a b i l i t i e s are at work in the two a c t i v i t i e s . Also i t would appear that the added dimension of a bilingual setting, where instruction is in the second language, presents complicating f a c t o r s not present in f i r s t language instruction. For example, learning the written word in L2 (where a student has already developed reading skills in Ll) can hardly be considered the same process as that of f i r s t learning to read in either L l or L2. One should expect differences according to the age, development , and past experiences of the learner. To criticisms such as Edelsky et a l , Cummins responds... However, any dichotomy inevitably oversimplifies the r e a l i t y and i t became clear that the terms "BICS" and "CALP" had the potential t o be misinterpreted... Consequently, the t h e o r e t i c a l framework was elaborated in terms of the contextual and cognitive dimensions underlying language performance while s t i l l maintaining the e s s e n t i a l aspects of the BICS / CALP distinction. (Cummins 19 8 4, 138) - 14 -This issue of time, that is length of residence (LOR) and age of a r r i v a l to the host country (AOA), are also of concern in this question of academic success. The a r b i t r a r y decision to offer ESL classes f o r up to two years appears to be a response to the or a l language proficiency acquired by most students in that time, i.e. BICS, without taking into account the longer time required to develop CALP. Cummins argues that this a r b i t r a r i l y chosen length of time may not r e f l e c t the needs of immigrant children and has no basis from an educational perspective, when the research findings show that " i t takes at l e a s t five years, on the average, for immigrant children who arrive in the host country a f t e r the age of six to approach grade norms in L2 CALP". (Cummins 19 81, 148) In her study on this topic of age and rate of acquisition of second language for academic purposes, Collier (1987) analyzed data for 1,548 "advantaged" limited English proficient (LEP) students who received a l l instruction in English. Taking into account variables such as age on a r r i v a l , English proficiency l e v e l on a r r i v a l , basic l i t e r a c y and math ski l l s in L l , and number of years of schooling in English, Collier's conclusions were that LEP students who entered the ESL program at ages 8-11 were the f a s t e s t achievers, requiring two to five years to reach the 50th percentile on national norms. LEP students entering the program at ages 5-7 were one to three years behind the 8-11 group when both groups had the same length of - 15 -residence. A r r i v a l s at ages 12-15 experienced the greatest d i f f i c u l t y , and were projected to require from six to eight years to reach grade l e v e l norms in academic achievement. It is apparent that reaching L2 communicative competence (in the wider context of both BICS and CALP) is of importance to the students in minority language bilingual immersion programs, given that a l l instruction i s in L2 and t h e i r education is "put on hold" until they can function s u f f i c i e n t l y in academic classes. Wong-Fillmore also concludes that two years is an inadequate length of time to develop the language ski l l s necessary for success in academic classrooms, concluding that the required time may be up to six years, or even longer for poor language learners. Whether placing on hold the education of ESL students (until they master the language of instruction) amounts to, in Wong-Fillmore's words, a "minor inconvenience" or a "major educational barr i e r " depends a great deal on whether academic concepts can be incorporated with teaching the language. She suggests that "what is needed to meet the special challenge of educating limited-English-speakers in our schools is a combination of bilingual instruction and ESL. (Wong-Fillmore 1983, 171) Timing of entry would appear to be an important f a c t o r also when "meaningful input" becomes an issue, since i t is in the e a r l i e r grades that teachers use concrete and v i s u a l aids - 16 -to a s s i s t students to develop and Internalize abstract concepts (CALP). Cummins (1984, 139-42) conceptualizes the construct of language proficiency along two continuums, "context embedded" and "context reduced" content, and "cognitively undemanding" / "cognitively demanding" language situations. Cognitively undemanding, context embedded language is present in conversational settings which off e r paralinguistic and contextual cues, and where meaning can be negotiated. At the opposite pole in this continuum are the more abstract concepts taught in the classroom, p a r t i c u l a r l y those beyond the early grades in elementary school, which are cognitively demanding with reduced contextual cues. Mohan (19 86) c a r r i e s this discussion further in his work on the contextual and cognitive dimensions of language as a medium for academic learning, in both context embedded (action situations) and context reduced (theoretical knowledge) situations. He c i t e s some d i f f i c u l t i e s with "comprehensible input" which ESL students might encounter in the discourse of academic subjects, p a r t i c u l a r l y where there may be no "shared background of experience" between learner and content. He suggests that educators consider the interaction of content and language (where language learning takes place in the context of a learning activity) and to be aware of techniques to overcome the lack of L l instruction for the student. - 17 -To close this discussion o£ academic success I have chosen to consider some c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of academically s u c c e s s f u l students as described in the l i t e r a t u r e . For example, Marshall and Sokol (1969) compared students identified by their teachers as "independent, se l f - d i r e c t i n g students" with l e s s s u c c e s s f u l students, finding that the independent students had significantly higher mean I.Q., higher mean GPA, lower mean class rank, lower mean modules of unscheduled time, higher mean class load, higher proportion of college bound students, lower proportion of students known as disciplinary problems, lower mean number of absences, and higher proportion of females than males. While norm based IQ and GPA are irreleva n t to this interview case study, i t will be of in t e r e s t to compare character-i s t i c s of the informants for this study with those described by Marshall and Sokol, who were identified by the i r teachers as "independent, s e l f - d i r e c t i n g students". To summarize, this section has discussed the BICS/CALP distinction, which raises the importance of use of L l for academic learning. Vocabulary as the language s k i l l most usefully taught for academic success, the evidence that academic achievement i s not necessarily related to conversational fluency, and the factor of time and timing which i s deemed important for developing CALP in L2 were also discussed in this context. - 18 -B: Characteristics o£ Bilingual Education That bilingual education is a reasonable educational objective is documented in the research on French immersion classes in Canada. In addition there is the evidence that monolinguals are a minority group compared with the r e s t of the world's population. With awareness of the cognitive and a f f e c t i v e advantages of bilingualism (Swain and Lapkin 19 8 2) one would expect a continuing i n t e r e s t by educators to encourage ESL students to maintain their f i r s t language. We look f o r evidence of this awareness in our informants. One c r i t e r i o n for success of a bilingual program is "additive bilingualism". By definition the education system has failed a student i f in gaining L2 the student loses his mother tongue. Retention of L l and additive bilingualism as an educational objective for ESL students would be enhanced where there is recognition by the dominant s o c i e t y of the importance of the minority language. Cummins (19 84) provides a useful framework for discussion of bilingual programs which he categorizes according to the "additive" or "subtractive" qualities of each. These are: (1) Submersion, the "sink-or-swim" situation where no special provision is made for ESL students getting their education in the majority language (2) Monolingual Immersion, of which ESL programs provided for ethnic minority students in Vancouver schools - 19 -are an example (3) Majority Language Bilingual Immersion, of which French immersion is the example (4) Minority Language Bilingual Immersion, which is descriptive of programs such as the Ukrainian-English Immersion program in Edmonton. Features of bilingual immersion programs which are absent in monolingual immersion programs are bilingual teachers (fluent in both L l and the target language); use of paralinguistic clues, redundancy and concrete contextual presentation to assure meaningful input; and increasing use of L l with an ultimate balance between L l and the target language as the medium for instruction. Informants in our study are in the monolingual immersion model where course work involves mastering abstract, context reduced concepts without provision for instruction in L l . Will these students, like those described by Saville-Troike (1984) i n t r i n s i c a l l y know the necessity to compensate for their lack of understanding by seeking out explanations in th e i r Ll? If this is the case, we might expect this s t r a t e g y to change as they become more and more comfortable with using English to understand the abstract concepts in their academic courses. C: Affect i v e Factors Related to Academic Success Choice of a language for i n s t r u c t i o n a l purposes (as in bilingual immersion programs) is an indication of acceptance - 20 -of t h a t language by the dominant group i n s o c i e t y , while t h i s "formal" r e c o g n i t i o n of the importance of t h e i r L l i s lacking i n the case of the informants f o r t h i s study, we w i l l n e v e r t h e l e s s look f o r "informal r e c o g n i t i o n " of L l and of i n s t a n c e s where t h e i r L l i s a f a c t o r i n t h e i r academic success. For example, are the students encouraged t o maintain t h e i r L l ? Do they f e e l comfortable speaking t h e i r L l a t school? Do other students show any i n t e r e s t in learning about them and t h e i r language? It has been noted t h a t f o r the ESL student the reg u l a r c l a s s can be extremely threatening. (Cohen and Swain 19 76, Cummins and Swain, 1987) Here he/she i s always open t o pos s i b l e r i d i c u l e and misunderstanding from other students and even t e a c h e r s . The s t r e s s f e l t by such students i s a l s o documented by McColl (1976). A panel of s i x ESL stud e n t s who "have made the t r a n s i t i o n a c r o s s language and c u l t u r e s u c c e s s f u l l y " d i s c u s s e d t h e i r f i r s t Canadian school experiences, the usefu l n e s s of ESL programs, some humiliations t h e y experienced a t sch o o l and the s t r e s s e s f e l t by t h e i r families a t home. The kind of re c o g n i t i o n by the dominant community of the importance of the students' L l appears t o be an important aspect of the students' f e e l i n g s of s e l f - w o r t h and w e l l being. Cummins and Swain summarize po s s i b l e d e s t r u c t i v e r e s u l t s when a f f e c t i v e f a c t o r s are negative r a t h e r than - 21 -positive. To be told, whether d i r e c t l y or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly, that your language and the language of your parents, of your home and of your friends is non-functional in school is to negate your sense of self. One can imagine any number of responses on the part of the children who hear this message. They could accept the school's dictum and reject t h e i r families; they could f e e l anger and f r u s t r a t i o n towards th e i r teachers and school, which could lead to h o s t i l i t y and aggression and eventually dropping-out of school, or to a denial of the value of school. And so on. Needless to say, none of these are healthy responses, but each of them has been observed. (Cummins and Swain 1987, 101) The above negative situ a t i o n will be compared to that of the informants for this study in an e f f o r t to identify the af f e c t i v e climate in the i r experiences at school. D: Differences Between Ethnic Groups Evidence of v a r i a b i l i t y in academic achievement between different language groups in the U.S., not attributable to the socio-economic status (SES) of the students, is also borne out in Canadian r e s u l t s (with the exception of French L l students). (Cummins 1984, 98) It was found that SES exerts a significant e f f e c t for majority language groups, i.e. French L l born in Canada, but not for immigrant students. Students with Chinese background, both Canadian-born and immigrant, show an extremely high l e v e l of placement in academic streams at a l l SES levels. In an attempt to explain such apparent inconsistencies Cummins c i t e s work by Ogbu (Cummins 19 8 4, 12 0) and Feuerstein (Cummins 1984, 123). Ogbu distinguishes between - 22 -three types o£ minority groups, i.e. "autonomous", "immigrant", and "caste" minorities. Autonomous groups are not subordinated economically or p o l i t i c a l l y to the dominant culture, and possess a distinct r a c i a l , religious, linguistic or c u l t u r a l identity. Jews are an example of an autonomous minority. Caste minorities are regarded by the majority culture as inherently inf e r i o r , and their socio-economic prospects are poor. Native Indians are an example of this type of minority group. Immigrant minorities d i f f e r from caste minorities in that they have come more or less voluntarily to the host society, with instrumental attitudes. They tend to be l e s s a f f e c t e d by the ideology of the dominant group, and, in spite of discrimination, they appear to be b e t t e r off than the caste minority. Chinese and Japanese are examples of immigrant minorities. The s t a t u s of immigrant minorities may change. They may develop into either autonomous or caste minorities. Feuerstein's concept to explain differences in academic success between different ethnic groups, "cultural deprivation", r e f e r s to a disrupted process of c u l t u r a l transmission between generations. Ashworth's (19 79) account of the B.C. government policy for Native Indian education of the past, where children were removed from th e i r villages, placed in r e s i d e n t i a l schools and forbidden to speak th e i r - 23 -language, resulted in the loss to a whole generation of their language and many of their traditions. Their situation comes to mind as a tragic example of "cultural deprivation" according to Feuerstein's description. As Cummins takes pains to elaborate, there are similarities between Feuerstein's "cultural deprivation" and Ogbu's "caste minorities". From the above t h e o r e t i c a l work on immigrant minorities and academic success i t appears that for immigrant students c u l t u r a l autonomy may be a more significant factor than SES. Here we will seek evidence of autonomy in the minority culture, i.e. with instrumental attitudes toward the host society rather than a desire to assimilate, expecting that strong support from the culture would accrue a f f e c t i v e benefits for our informants' academic success. E: The "Ask the Learner" Approach To my knowledge there is no formal study which asks the ESL learner to analyze his or her own academic success. However to analyze s u c c e s s f u l language learning Naiman et al. (19 79) interviewed successful adult language learners ("successful" identifying those who had learned s e v e r a l languages) in a pilot study for a l a t e r controlled study looking at French language classes for English speaking students. They found that this case study technique provided a number of useful avenues for further research, and their approach is therefore of i n t e r e s t for this case study. - 24 -Similarly Rubin (1975), while again focusing on language learning rather than academic achievement (noting different rates of success of ESL language learners), advocates research on the topic of learner s t r a t e g i e s and notes the ef f i c a c y of d i r e c t l y asking the learner. We will expect the similar approach used in this study to provide rich and varied data. More related to academic achievement, though s t i l l mainly concerned with the learning of the target language, is the work of O'Malley et al. (1985) Beginning with the premise of the importance of learning s t r a t e g i e s , i.e. "the operations or steps used by a learner to f a c i l i t a t e the acquisition, storage or r e t r i e v a l of information" in order to promote academic learning, a two-fold study was undertaken. F i r s t , students were interviewed in order to identify a number of strategies. The resulting examples were then c l a s s i f i e d as metacognitive s t r a t e g i e s , cognitive s t r a t e g i e s and s o c i o a f f e c t i v e s t r a t e g i e s . Examples of metacognitive s t r a t e g i e s are advance organizers, i.e. directed attention, selective attention, self-management, self-monitoring, and self-evaluation. Cognitive s t r a t e g i e s include repetition, resourcing (using target language reference materials), translation, grouping, note taking, deduction, imagery, and keyword (for learning L2 vocabulary). Socioaffective f a c t o r s include cooperation (working with one or more peers) and question for c l a r i f i c a t i o n (asking a teacher or other native speaker). - 25 -The controlled study in the second phase t e s t e d the ef f i c a c y of teaching such s t r a t e g i e s to students. The result varied depending on the task, but i t was concluded that s t r a t e g y training can be e f f e c t i v e for integrative language tasks. In the present study informants will be asked to identify their own learning strategies. Here the goal is similar to that of the O'Malley study, i.e. that learning s t r a t e g i e s , once identified, could be successfully taught to less competent learners to enhance th e i r academic development. Summary of Chapter Two The intent in this l i t e r a t u r e review is to identify salient aspects of t h e o r e t i c a l work which relate to the research problem in this study. I have relied heavily on Cummins' work as the most comprehensive in scope to address the issue of academic success in ESL students. The t h e o r e t i c a l work mentioned in this chapter has identified some of the paths to be explored in the data gathering process. We are cautioned to look for use of L l as a means of securing "comprehensible input" where L2 is insufficient to understand abstract academic concepts; to identify examples of additive bilingualism and other positive a f f e c t i v e f a c t o r s in the informants' school situation; and to explore e f f e c t i v e student learning strategies. - 26 -chapter III: THE STUDY This chapter will present the research project, explaining the approach and interview techniques used for data gathering, a description of the setting, and inform-ation about the informants. A: The Method The intent of this study was to get the academically su c c e s s f u l ESL learners' perceptions of th e i r educational experience. To my knowledge this has not yet been done in e a r l i e r research. While u s e f u l as global indicators, s t a t i s t i c s do not illuminate well the experiences of individuals as they succeed or f a i l in t h e i r academic courses and for this reason i t was f e l t to be important to approach this from a qualitative point of view. This exploratory case study appears to f i t the c r i t e r i o n suggested by Yin (19 86) of "a si t u a t i o n where a 'how' or 'why' question is being asked about a contemporary set of events over which the investigator has l i t t l e or no control". In determining the place of case study research in comparison with other approaches, such as a survey or experimental study, Yin o f f e r s that the case study is preferred where the following c r i t e r i a are present: causal links too complex for survey or experimental research; the opportunity or need to describe events in a r e a l l i f e context where there is potential for evaluation research; and an exploration of those situations where no clear single set of outcomes should be expected. This study i s not an ethnography of the l i f e of academically s u c c e s s f u l students, but an exploratory case study using some ethnographic data gathering techniques. The end re s u l t does not assume conclusions related to cause-e f f e c t relationships and here we do not attempt t o make such claims, i.e. that academic success is caused or made possible by such and such factor. Rather we hope t o contribute toward a greater understanding, illuminating aspects of success in these students and the i r p a r t i c u l a r situations in Canadian secondary school classrooms. Here our i n t e r e s t i s to identify patterns which appear to promote or inhibit academic success. Of course we are dealing with these patterns as they are perceived by the students, not as they might be in re a l i t y . The main questions being asked are: What is i t like being a student who happens to be getting his/her education through a second language? How does he/she cope and manage to achieve s u c c e s s f u l r e s u l t s ? What insights can be offered to other ESL students, ESL teachers and subject teachers? in discussing the interview as a data gathering technique Lewin (1979) elaborates on differences between face to face conversation and a written questionnaire. With - 28 -the interview is the opportunity to pursue a topic at length, and the opportunity f o r both the interviewer and respondent to c l a r i f y responses and questions which may be unclear to either. On considering how to ask the questions, a conversational interview format as suggested by Burgess can e l i c i t "openended" responses which are outside the limits of a s t r u c t u r e d survey questionnaire. In a s t r u c t u r e d survey questionnaire the interviewer merely poses questions and records answers, and there is "no long-term relationship between the researcher and the researched", but rather one where ...it i s assumed that the interviewer can manipulate the sit u a t i o n and has c o n t r o l over a set l i s t of questions that have been formulated before the interview and which are to be answered rather than considered, rephrased, re-ordered, discussed and analysed. In short, the interviewer is assumed to have power over the respondent who is given a subordinate role in this context. (Burgess 19 8 4, 101) In contrast to this s t r u c t u r e d approach Burgess o f f e r s an approach used in a long t r a d i t i o n of s o c i a l research of an "unstructured or semi-structured s t y l e of interviewing which employs a set of themes and topics to form questions in the course of conversation." Burgess terms such unstructured interviews "conversations with a purpose". It i s t h i s "unstructured interview" which is employed for this study. While our schedule of questions indicates a s t r u c t u r e , we a v a i l ourselves of the opportunity to explore - 29 -any promising avenues which ari s e during the interview. There is additional f l e x i b i l i t y with the option of altering the order of questions and the opportunity for future contact i f there is need for additional information or c l a r i f i c a t i o n at a l a t e r date. (See Appendix I for the f u l l schedule of questions.) Questions An attempt to formulate questions within c e r t a i n domains related to the l i t e r a t u r e is the approach most likely to yield meaningful information. For the topic of academic success the l i t e r a t u r e indicates a need to examine the students' use of L l and L2 as i t r e l a t e s to t h e i r studies, in order to determine their approach to understanding abstract concepts re l a t e d to their academic courses. Affec t i v e f a c t o r s which may relate to success and which will be examined are acceptance of t h e i r L l by the dominant culture (in this case native speaking teachers and students), "additive" or "subtractive" qualities of t h e i r bilingualism, and how comfortable they f e e l in the school environment. In addition t h e i r home environment and the informants' own coping and learning s t r a t e g i e s may provide insight into individual strengths which are relevant to th e i r academic success. Preparation of Interviewers Interviewers were prepared in advance with detailed information on the reasons for the study and the importance - 30 -of their role in el i c i t i n g the information in a conver-sational interview setting. They were shown videos of the pilot interviews, and were given the overview of the project, the schedule of questions, and an outline of the interview process. Data Analysis Spradley (1979) suggests a scheme in his chapter t i t l e d "Componential Analysis" whereby a number of themes or "domains" emerging from the data are identified. The resulting analysis is the attempt to discover a " s t r u c t u r a l r e a l i t y " arising from the informants' perceptions. This " s t r u c t u r a l r e a l i t y " is the information base from which the researcher's interpretations and conclusions will arise. In this study responses emerging from the data are reported under the headings used in the format of the original questions, though the order of reporting questions may vary. The arising themes are identified in Chapter Four and discussed further in Chapter Five. The Pilot Interviews Pilot interviews with a Vietnamese and Italian student Indicated that such conversational interviews are a rich source of data to increase our understanding of the student within his/her educational context. Following these pilot interviews the schedule of questions was extended and t e s t e d in an audiotaped interview, which was arranged through the - 31 -ESL teacher and conducted at the student's school. This fi n a l pilot interview took longer than the following Interviews where questions were presented and discussed in advance with the informants. B: The Setting The twenty-five informants were enrolled in 19 87 in four Vancouver secondary schools. Twenty-three of the interviews took place in June 1987. Informants were interviewed p r i v a t e l y in an unoccupied classroom. Sufficient time was allowed at each interview for the f u l l schedule of questions and to probe further for c l a r i f i c a t i o n and additional information. These interviews were both video and audio recorded. Interviews were conducted by ESL and regular course teachers who had indicated their i n t e r e s t in being involved in this study. Interview times were arranged in advance, and took place to su i t the schedules of the student informants during school hours. Two interviews (both arranged to accomodate the students' schedules) were conducted outside the school setting -- one at the student's workplace and another during a telephone interview l a t e r in the summer when the informant had returned from v i s i t i n g r e l a t i v e s in the U.S. These two fi n a l interviews were not tape recorded, but extensive notes were taken. Where responses were unclear or of insufficient d e t a i l informants were contacted further by telephone. - 32 -C: The Informants For t h i s e x p l o r a t o r y case study, t w e n t y - f i v e ESL students were i d e n t i f i e d as a c a d e m i c a l l y s u c c e s s f u l from four secondary s c h o o l s i n Vancouver to meet the f o l l o w i n g c r i t e r i a : 1. Informants s e l e c t e d were students who had had a reasonable amount of time to develop s u f f i c i e n t E n g l i s h language s k i l l s and /or who were d i s p l a y i n g academic success i n content area courses i n t h e i r s c h o o l s . Time spent i n Canada v a r i e d from two years t o j u s t over f i v e y e a r s . "Academic s u c c e s s " i s d e f i n e d as achievement of a t l e a s t a C average i n content courses such as Math, Scie n c e , S o c i a l S t u d i e s , and E n g l i s h . 2. Students must have a r r i v e d i n Canada with l i t t l e or no E n g l i s h . Such students would l i k e l y have r e c e i v e d some ESL support, whether i n a t r a d i t i o n a l ESL c l a s s or i n some other form. One informant had r e c e i v e d ESL t r a i n i n g i n the P h i l i p p i n e s a f t e r l e a v i n g Vietnam and before coming t o Canada. Time spent i n ESL classrooms v a r i e d between e i g h t months and four y e a r s , s i x months. 3. Length of re s i d e n c e i n Canada was a r b i t r a r i l y s e t f o r approximately f i v e years i n keeping with r e s e a r c h which suggests t h a t i t takes 5-7 years to develop language s k i l l s r e q u i r e d f o r academic suc c e s s . (See p. 15 above.) Three of the informants have been here longer, and many f o r a much s h o r t e r p e r i o d . - 33 -Table I: Informant Background Information I# M/F Age AOA NC L l Other 1 M 17 15 Spain Spanish French 2 M 19 17 Vietnam Vietnamese -3 F 19 17 Guatemala Spanish -4 F 19 15 Ind i a Punjabi H i n d i 5 F 14 13 Taiwan Mandarin -6 M 15 13 T h a i l a n d Thai -7 M 18 13 China Chinese -8 F 16 11 China Chinese -9 M 17 14 Korea Korean -10 M 17 12 China Cantonese -11 F 17 14 Afghan P e r s i a n H i n d i 12 F 16 11 China Cantonese Mand,French 13 F 20 16 Hong Kong Cantonese -14 M 16 12 China Cantonese -15 F 18 15 Afghan P e r s i a n H i n d i 16 M 18 12 Taiwan Mandar i n Taiwanese 17 F 19 13 China Chinese -18 M 14 10 Vietnam Vietnamese -19 F 16 12 China Chinese -20 M 19 15 Korea Korean -21 F 16 14 Korea Korean -22 M 18 13 I t a l y I t a l i a n French 23 F 19 15 Colombia Spanish -24 F 17 12 Vietnam Cantonese Viet/Mand/ Trieuchan 25 F 18 11 China Cantonese — AOA = age on a r r i v a l Other = other languages spoken NC = n a t i v e country Informants 7 and 8 are s i b l i n g s . Informants 11 and 15 are s i b l i n g s . Informants 16, 17, and 25 have been here some months longer than the suggested f i v e y e a r s . - 34 -4. Students from a range of cultures were chosen in order to get some sense of possible variance between language groups (with the realization that there are also likely to be individual differences among those speaking the same mother tongue). D: Data Collection Following a request f o r participation, data was collected from four Vancouver Senior Secondary Schools. At an organizational meeting int e r e s t e d teachers who had responded were brought together and more f u l l y informed about the aims of the study. They were provided with a written overview of the interview process and the schedule of questions. These teachers were shown videos of the pilot interviews, and were made cognizant of the desired "conversational" and openended interview techniques, in order that interesting leads and the direction of the interview (i.e. t o not be concerned with the order of questions, etc.) would allow f u l l scope f o r the informants' answers. The informants who were identified by the ESL teachers (according to the necessary c r i t e r i a ) were given advance preparation, outlining the purpose of the study and the reason they were chosen to participate. A l l were given the option of withdrawing at any time during the procedure, and - 35 -informed that they could refuse t o respond t o any of the questions. They had the opportunity to read over and discuss in advance any d i f f i c u l t or unclear points. This was a useful preparatory step, since many of the questions require introspective answers and memory r e c a l l . Advanced preparation lessened the p o s s i b i l i t y of informants* apprehension or lack of comprehension of questions, and likely r e s u l t e d in time saved and with increased informant input during the a c t u a l interview. Written forms f i l l e d in by students collected pertinent background information. Interviews were conducted by three ESL teachers, and two subject area teachers. The decision to use a number of different interviewers was to take into account the informants' needs, since the teachers and informants had established a rapport and t r u s t with each other. The in t e r e s t and enthusiasm for the study on the part of the involved teachers was gratifying. Two of the informants who could not be accomodated during t h i s time were interviewed at a l a t e r date. Otherwise the interview sessions took place in June, 1987 over a two week period. In a l l cases the informants were available for further contact and this opportunity for c l a r i f i c a t i o n and /or additional information where required was helpful. - 36 -During the Interviews none o v e r t l y refused to answer any of the questions, but there i s of course no way of knowing whether they gave f u l l answers to a l l the questions. The informants appeared t o be comfortable, and a number of them reported that they welcomed the opportunity to be heard and to possibly benefit future ESL students. - 37 -Chapter IV DIMENSIONS OF STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES I n t r o d u c t i o n : T h i s chapter presents the informants' e d i t e d responses to the c e n t r a l q u e s t i o n of t h i s study, i . e . of what may be important f a c t o r s i n t h e i r s c h o o l and home experiences which promote (or make p o s s i b l e ) t h e i r academic success. In d e a l i n g with t h e o r e t i c a l aspects of t h i s problem (Chapter Two), a number of i s s u e s were d i s c u s s e d , i . e . , t h a t s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n i n L2 need not a f f e c t academic success, but t h a t use of L l to provide meaningful input and d i s c u s s a b s t r a c t concepts may be important; c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of b i l i n g u a l e d u c a t i o n and the importance of p o s i t i v e r e c o g n i t i o n of the m i n o r i t y student's L l by the m a j o r i t y c u l t u r e ; a f f e c t i v e f a c t o r s r e l e v a n t to ESL l e a r n e r s i n r e g u l a r classrooms; and d i f f e r e n c e s i n academic success between e t h n i c groups. Here we w i l l look to the informants' responses to compare t h e i r p e r s o n a l experiences with s a l i e n t f a c t o r s from the l i t e r a t u r e . An attempt w i l l be made to determine whether students p e r c e i v e d t h a t p a r e n t a l support played a r o l e In t h e i r s uccess, whether c e r t a i n s c h o o l programs were deemed p a r t i c u l a r l y h e l p f u l , or whether the students had developed s t r a t e g i e s f o r l e a r n i n g t h at they f e l t were r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h i s measure of succ e s s . - 38 -I have chosen to present the informants' responses under the headings of the schedule of q u e s t i o n s as l i s t e d below, though a l l o w i n g some f l e x i b i l i t y i n the order with which questions are to be d i s c u s s e d . A: P e r c e p t i o n s About Canada and Native Country B: P e r c e p t i o n s About Themselves as Students C: ESL Experience D: Experience i n Regular C l a s s e s E: Student S t r a t e g i e s F: Home E f f e c t on S c h o o l i n g F o l l o w i n g each s e c t i o n I w i l l summarize what appear to be s a l i e n t i s s u e s which w i l l then be d i s c u s s e d more f u l l y i n Chapter F i v e . A: Informants P e r c e p t i o n s About Canada and T h e i r Native Country Here informants speak of t h e i r f a m i l i e s ' reasons f o r immigrating to Canada and c l a r i f y t h e i r f e e l i n g s about l e a v i n g t h e i r n a t i v e l a n d . They d e s c r i b e adjustments t h a t were necessary s i n c e t h e i r a r r i v a l to Canada, and t h e i r f u t u r e a s p i r a t i o n s . I t i s assumed t h a t the degree of t h e i r emotional w e l l - b e i n g i n a new land would u l t i m a t e l y a f f e c t t h e i r academic s u c c e s s . The m a j o r i t y of the informants a r r i v e d i n Canada through the e f f o r t s of determined parents seeking g r e a t e r e d u c a t i o n a l and economic o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r t h e i r sons and daughters. - 39 -Seven of the informants a l r e a d y had f a m i l y t i e s i n Canada, being sponsored by r e l a t i v e s p r e s e n t l y l i v i n g here, and expressed happiness a t being r e u n i t e d with a parent, grandparents or s i b l i n g s . I n t : Why d i d you and your f a m i l y move to Canada? I#14: Probably f o r a b e t t e r l i f e . Canada i s a b i g , under-populated country, and i f you work hard you w i l l be s u c c e s s f u l . I#9: My f a t h e r says "my e d u c a t i o n " but I t h i n k f i n a n c i a l problems. My f a t h e r was unemployed f o r n e a r l y ten years and thought t h a t e d u c a t i o n and o p p o r t u n i t i e s were b e t t e r here. In Korea there i s too much co m p e t i t i o n . Canada i s a land of o p p o r t u n i t y . I# 2 2: My f a t h e r thought there was a b e t t e r f u t u r e f o r us here than i n I t a l y . He came f o r h i s sons, not f o r h i m s e l f . I#25: For a b e t t e r l i f e f o r us. There i s an u n c e r t a i n p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n China. R e l a t i v e s here and i n the U.S. co u l d sponsor us. We were f i r s t accepted by Canada, so we came here. My parents s t i l l want to move to the U.S. They thi n k that the sc h o o l s ( i n the U.S.) are much b e t t e r (than Canadian ones). Others came as refugees, to escape the p o l i t i c a l t u r m o i l i n t h e i r n a t i v e c o u n t r i e s . I#2: We were e s c a p i n g — l o o k i n g f o r j u s t i c e and freedom. We were r e l i e v e d a t escaping and being a l i v e . I#3: The p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n my country (Guatemala) i s not good. I can't t a l k about the th i n g s t h a t happened i n my country. I#15: The Russians came to A f g h a n i s t a n and wanted us to change our r e l i g i o n . I#24: Communists took over my f a t h e r ' s business and sent him to work i n a work camp. He escaped and came here, then sent f o r us. - 40 -Table I I : Parents' Education and Occupation i n Native Country and i n Canada I# NC OccNC(F) OccNC(M) OccCan(F) OccCan(M) FE ME 1 Spain baker housewife - housewife ES ES 2 Vietnam dr i v e r manager - - TT TT 3 Guat ma c h i n i s t housewife j a n i t o r cook h e l p r - -4 India p r o f e s s o r teacher m i l l w r k r nurse PS PS 5 Taiwan business chem eng business housewife PS PS 6 Thai bus iness bus iness student supervsor PS PS 7 China engineer teacher repairman - PS ss 8 China mech eng teacher repairman - PS ss 9 Korea govt o f f - j a n i t o r - AD -10 China farmer farmer c l e r k c l e r k PS PS 11 Afghan d i r e c t o r housewife - housewi fe SS ss 12 China farmer farmer c l e r k c l e r k SS ss 13 HngKng v a r i e d sewer cook sewer ES ES 14 China dr i v e r housewi fe - laundrywrk - SS 15 Afghan d i r e c t o r housewi fe - housewife SS SS 16 Ta iwan c i v i l eng c l e r k pension housewi fe PS TT 17 China carpenter govtwrkr cook factorywrk ss PS 18 Vietnam - bookkeeper N/A N/A - -19 China farmer housewi fe k itchwrkr laundrywrk ss ES 20 Korea comp emp housewi fe bus iness housewi fe PS SS 21 Korea m i n i s t e r housewi fe m i n i s t e r housewi fe AD PS 22 I t a l y car i n s p t r housewi fe ac c n t n t housewi fe ss TT 23 Colomb mechanic maid - N/A - -24 Vietnam bus iness housewife comp emp housewi fe - -25 China engineer teacher l a b a s s t l a b a s s t PS PS FE =Father's E d u c a t i o n a l Background ME =Mother's E d u c a t i o n a l Background ES = elementary s c h o o l SS = secondary s c h o o l TT = t e c h n i c a l t r a i n i n g PS = post-secondary AD = advanced degree - 41 -The informants appear to view Canada as a land of o p p o r t u n i t y , p r o v i d i n g upward m o b i l i t y f o r those with p o t e n t i a l who are w i l l i n g to work. "Work" i n c l u d e s g e t t i n g an e d u c a t i o n , an important p u r s u i t of the informants. T h i s f a i t h i n a f u t u r e i n Canada i s confirmed by the f a c t t h a t o n l y four of the informants plan to r e t u r n to l i v e i n t h e i r n a t i v e c o u n t r i e s (though three more would r e t u r n with a change i n the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n . ) I#9 r e p o r t e d t h a t he would r e t u r n to defend h i s country (Vietnam) i f there was t h r e a t of an i n v a s i o n by North Vietnam. I#22 e n v i s i o n s as the best of both worlds the p o s s i b i l i t y (when w e l l set-up at age 40) of l i v i n g s i x months o£ the year i n each c o u n t r y . Common to a l l the informants are the i n s t r u m e n t a l ( r a t h e r than i n t e g r a t i v e ) f a c t o r s which o r i g i n a l l y prompted the f a m i l i e s to move to Canada. They came to escape i n t o l e r a b l e c o n d i t i o n s i n t h e i r n a t i v e c o u n t r i e s and /or to a v a i l themselves of the c o m p a r a t i v e l y higher standard of l i v i n g and g r e a t e r e d u c a t i o n a l and economic o p p o r t u n i t i e s . With the e x c e p t i o n of I#21, whose f a t h e r , a m i n i s t e r i n the Korean church, was i n v i t e d to come to work here, they have l e f t e v e r y t h i n g behind, and are now attempting to s u r v i v e and adapt to Canadian l i f e while m a i n t a i n i n g t h e i r own e t h n i c i d e n t i t y . Many expressed a d e s i r e to r e t u r n to t h e i r c o u n t r y f o r a v i s i t , but i t i s obvious t h a t they now f e e l t h a t Canada i s where they w i l l l i k e l y remain. I#20 expressed a p o t e n t i a l problem with r e t u r n i n g : "I'm used to l i v i n g here and would have to r e a d j u s t . " - 42 -Informants expressed mixed r e a c t i o n s r e g a r d i n g the d e c i s i o n to move to t h i s country. I#9: I was e x c i t e d . I thought Canada was farms and b u f f a l o e s . I was p a r t l y sad, but mostly e x c i t e d . I#18: No one t o l d me. I j u s t went because i t was l i k e going on,a t r i p or something. I went with my aunt and four cousins (the same aunt he now l i v e s with.) I#24: I was sad to leave my f r i e n d s , but happy to be see i n g my f a t h e r a g a i n . I was nervous about s c h o o l . In s p i t e of the f a c t t h a t t h e i r parents, i n many cases, are underemployed a c c o r d i n g to e d u c a t i o n a l background and p o s i t i o n s held i n t h e i r n a t i v e c o u n t r i e s , the student informants appear to have a d j u s t e d to Canadian l i f e . (Table II compares parents' former occupations i n t h e i r home country with present occupations here i n Canada.) T h i s i s not to imply that our informants with t h e i r parents may not be under a great d e a l of pressure and s t r e s s ; o n l y t h a t i f t h i s were the case the informants (with one ex c e p t i o n as noted i n the f o l l o w i n g ) e i t h e r d i d not reco g n i z e i t or chose not to d i s c u s s i t . I#17: The l a s t two years I've r e a l l y slowed down on the homework. L a t e l y I'm under s t r e s s and can't c o n c e n t r a t e . Normally I j u s t do my E n g l i s h homework and otherwise I cram at exam times. I know t h a t t h i s i s not a good way, but I j u s t can't help i t . There's so much pr e s s u r e . Most found some aspect of Canadian l i f e to enjoy. I#8: I l i k e the freedom here. I would change some people, not a l l , who s t a r e a t people who don't speak E n g l i s h . I#2: Here there i s good government, good law. People are f a i r l y t r e a t e d . - 43 -Table I I I : Comparison of P a r e n t a l E x p e c t a t i o n s For T h e i r  C h i l d r e n With Informants' Own E x p e c t a t i o n s lit NC Parent E x p e c t a t i o n Informant A s p i r a t i o n s 1 Spain U n i v e r s i t y E l e c t r o n i c s / u n i v e r s i t y 2 Vietnam Informants Choice E n g i n e e r i n g / u n i v e r s i t y 3 Guatemala Univers i t y U n i v e r s i t y 4 India Be s u c c e s s f u l R e g i s t e r e d Nurse 5 Taiwan Medical Doctor Medical Doctor 6 T h a i l a n d Medical Doctor U n i v e r s i t y / F i l m - m a k e r 7 China Post G r a d u a t e / S c i e n t i s t E l e c t r i c a l Engineer 8 China Post Graduate Computer Science 9 Korea No preference M i l i t a r y C o l l e g e 10 China Doctor or Lawyer U n i v e r s i t y or Mechanic 11 Afghan Medical Doctor Medical Doctor 12 China Informant's Choice Accounting Degree 13 Hong Kong Informant's Choice Doctor or B i o l o g i s t 14 China U n i v e r s i t y Accounting Degree 15 Afghan Policewoman Computer Science 16 Taiwan Informant's Choice Computer Science 17 China U n i v e r s i t y Medical Doctor 18 Vietnam No preference Accountant/Histor ian 19 China Medical Doctor Doctor/Fashion Design 20 Korea Lawyer U n i v e r s i t y / P o l S c i . 21 Korea Informant's Choice Univ. i n Korea/Writer 22 I t a l y Informant's Choice Real E s t a t e Agent 23 Colombia Informant's Choice Nuclear C o n t r o l A s s t . 24 Vietnam Informant's Choice Commerce Degree 25 China Medical Doctor Chartered Accountant - 44 -I#9: In Canada you can t r y f o r any t h i n g . There's not much pressure and you can swim and p l a y b a s k e t b a l l . In Korea people are so com p e t i t i v e they wouldn't p l a y with you. There i s l o t s of p o l l u t i o n i n Korea, and no time f o r a c t i v i t i e s such as-students t a k i n g p a r t i n government. 187: China has a l a r g e p o p u l a t i o n . Canada has fewer people, f r e s h water, and n a t u r a l beauty. I#16: I l i k e the people. They're r e a l l y f r i e n d l y . People s a i d " h i " r i g h t away, and t h a t was the o n l y word I knew. I#22: I t a l y i s more of a fun type of country, but here i f you want you can have the same enjoyment as i n I t a l y . I t ' s e a s i e r f o r my parents to buy a house, because they can get a loan from the bank. Whether the parents had themselves attended p o s t -secondary i n s t i t u t i o n s appeared to have l i t t l e s i g n i f i c a n c e on t h e i r a s p i r a t i o n s f o r t h e i r sons and daughters. Table III (p.44) compares the parents' a s p i r a t i o n s f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n with those of the informants, which appear to c o i n c i d e , and which, with o n l y a few exc e p t i o n s , i n c l u d e post-secondary e d u c a t i o n . Summary In g e n e r a l the informants appear t o be aware of o p p o r t u n i t i e s a v a i l a b l e here which were not open to them i n t h e i r own c o u n t r i e s , i . e . e d u c a t i o n , freedom, and economic o p p o r t u n i t y . There appears to be acceptance (though i n v a r y i n g degrees) of t h e i r parents' d e c i s i o n to come here. L i k e other "independent s e l f d i r e c t i n g s t u d e n t s " 1 a high percentage of them are " c o l l e g e bound". Perhaps the de t e r m i n a t i o n of t h e i r parents to come here i n order to assure an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r t h e i r sons and daughters e d u c a t i o n puts a great d e a l of pressure on them to l i v e up to t h e i r p a r e n ts' e x p e c t a t i o n s . - 45 -B: P e r c e p t i o n s About Themselves As students The informants have been i d e n t i f i e d by teach e r s as a c a d e m i c a l l y s u c c e s s f u l . They would appear to be model students — h i g h l y motivated and r e s p o n s i b l e , p o l i t e , a t t e n t i v e and r e l i a b l e . I f p o s i t i v e s e l f - i m a g e i s a f a c t o r i n s uccess, does t h e i r s e l f - i m a g e r e f l e c t t h e i r achievements, do they see themselves as "winners"? Do they f e e l t h a t they are c o m f o r t a b l y a p a r t of Canadian s c h o o l system? And gi v e n the encouraging r e s u l t s r e g a r d i n g c o g n i t i v e advantages of b i l i n g u a l i s m ( d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter II) how do the informants e v a l u a t e t h e i r own b i l i n g u a l i s m ? In t : You seem t o be a s u c c e s s f u l student. What do you think are the reasons f o r your success? I#10: To t e l l you the t r u t h I t h i n k t h a t . . . t h e r e i s not so many reasons. You j u s t go home and do your homework and study hard. That's b a s i c a l l y what I do. I#22: You have to l i k e s c h o o l . I l i k e to study and always l i k e d to study u n t i l grade e l e v e n . But i n grade twelve I hated i t because of s o c i a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s . Some e x t r a time with the teacher a f t e r s c h o o l w i l l help you very much. I#4: I study very hard — l a t e at n i g h t and e a r l y morning. I#13: I don't f e e l a l l t h a t s u c c e s s f u l but t r y my best to study. Now ( i n Canada) I have to work double harder. A Canadian student might study one hour. I have t o study two hours j u s t to f i n i s h i t up. I#17: You must study c o n t i n u o u s l y and not t r y to cram t h i n g s i n t o a s h o r t p e r i o d of time. I f you don't understand something you must go and ask the te a c h e r . Don't l e t e v e r y t h i n g p i l e up. Get help i f you don't understand. I#16: Student a t t i t u d e s i n Canada has to change a b i t . They say, "What can I do? I'm dumb." I t ' s not a good a t t i t u d e . They should be able to do i t (succeed i n s c h o o l ) . I've never f a i l e d a course. The lowest I got was a C. I f they go to c l a s s e s every day, and l i s t e n t o the teacher i n c l a s s , they should be able to get at l e a s t 50%. When people f a i l I'm s u r p r i s e d . - 46 -Though informants may appear to be p a s s i v e , i . e . some do not speak out or i n t e r a c t i n c l a s s , they are a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h e i r e ducation "behind the scenes", a s k i n g f o r e x t r a h e l p when they don't understand, doing e x t r a s t u d y i n g and review, making c e r t a i n they are keeping ahead i n t h e i r work. Only one r e p o r t e d f i n i s h i n g homework at s c h o o l . T h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s to l i v e w i t h i n Canadian customs suggests a comfortable adjustment and understanding of the Canadian s i t u a t i o n . I n t : Should Canadian schools be more l i k e those i n your n a t i v e country? I#15: In Canada there i s a p o p u l a t i o n with people from many d i f f e r e n t p l a c e s . So t h i n g s can't be changed f o r everybody. I t ' s okay how i t i s here. I#22: Here most exams are w r i t t e n . In I t a l y o r a l t e s t s are used f o r H i s t o r y and Geography. I would be more s u c c e s s f u l with o r a l t e s t s as I enjoy t a l k i n g to a person. Maybe t h a t ' s not d e s i r a b l e f o r here with w r i t t e n t r a d i t i o n s . Schools shouldn't n e c e s s a r i l y change to s u i t immigrants. I#16: Maybe Canadian s c h o o l s shouldn't change because they (Canada and Taiwan) are two d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s . Each has advantages. The students appear to have adopted t h e i r p a r e n ts' (and/or t h e i r c o u n t r i e s ' ) a s p i r a t i o n s as t h e i r own. I#25: My mother s t a r t e d me o f f at a young age to ' l e a r n ahead' before everyone e l s e . Every day we worked ahead at my l e s s o n s . When I got ahead my mother j u s t l e t me do i t on my own. P r i d e i s i n s t i l l e d i n me and I want to do w e l l . I#16: In Taiwan s t u d y i n g i s the most important t h i n g . People don't p l a y around. I work hard and don't waste time. - 47 -They d i s p l a y t h i s a d u l t o r i e n t a t i o n i n t h e i r comments about s c h o o l a l s o , showing l i t t l e evidence o£ i d e n t i f y i n g with mainstream Canadian s t u d e n t s . Indeed they appear f o r the most p a r t to a l l y themselves with t h e i r t e a c h e r s and to view the behaviour of some of t h e i r n a t i v e speaking peers as immature and unacceptable. Questions about d i f f e r e n c e s i n the schools i n t h e i r n a t i v e c o u n t r i e s , and what they would l i k e t o see changed i n Canadian s c h o o l s prompted the f o l l o w i n g responses: I#24: Students should take care of the s c h o o l . When I see the p r i n c i p a l p i c k i n g up garbage... (shakes her head.) In Vietnam i t was the student's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to look a f t e r the s c h o o l . I#13: There i s too much freedom i n s c h o o l s t h a t i s used unwisely by s t u d e n t s . There should be c l a s s e s -- not brainwashing — to teach students not to damage s c h o o l p r o p e r t y . Students smoke i n the washrooms even though there are smoking ar e a s . The s c h o o l doesn't do anything about i t . In hallways there i s f i g h t i n g . And there i s a lack of r e s p e c t f o r people's f e e l i n g s . In Hong Kong sch o o l r e g u l a t i o n s are too tough and here there i s too much freedom. I f they combined the two i t would be b e t t e r . I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t the informants do not e n t i r e l y sympathize with n a t i v e speaking s t u d e n t s . Comparing the Canadian s c h o o l experience with t h a t i n t h e i r n a t i v e c o u n t r i e s leads the informants to conclude t h a t i n many ways students i n Canada have a r a t h e r s o f t time of i t . I n t : How are s c h o o l s here s i m i l a r or d i f f e r e n t from the s c h o o l you attended i n your n a t i v e country? I t t l : Schools are much harder i n Spain. Teachers make you study harder and more. Over there the teacher t a l k s r e a l f a s t . I f you don't understand you have to go to the blackboard. In Canada teachers are a l o t more comfortable and easy going. They t r e a t you l i k e a f r i e n d . Over there you're M i s t e r and I'm M i s t e r . No f i r s t names. - 48 -I#9: School days are three e x t r a hours longer. Most students d i d v o l u n t e e r study a f t e r s chool and again i n the evening and before s c h o o l . We used s c h o o l s f o r study due to crowded homes. There i s more co m p e t i t i o n , l e s s s p o r t s and PE i n Korea. C l a s s e s are l a r g e r with 45 to 50 s t u d e n t s . Once there were 100 students i n my c l a s s . The teacher d i d n ' t know the students' names. D i s c i p l i n e i s d i f f e r e n t . Here i f students don't work teachers t a l k to them, then give up. In Korea the teacher f o r c e s the student to study. (When questioned f u r t h e r he mentioned c o r p o r a l punishment as the means to f o r c e students.) Ittl5: Here we get two days o f f . In A f g h a n i s t a n o n l y F r i d a y morning to noon i s a h o l i d a y . I 2 4 : There i s l o t s of memorization f o r homework. Homework e x e r c i s e s are v a r i e d amounts, but l e s s than here. School was one h a l f day from 7:00 to 11:00, with one f i f t e e n minute break. Subjects are changed each hour, with the teacher moving and students remaining i n the same c l a s s -room. Students c l e a n c l a s s e s and the hallway. I l i k e d t h i s l e a d e r s h i p r o l e where the students take care of the c l a s s . Student l e a d e r s take attendance, copy assignments on the board, and mark the work. There i s c o m p e t i t i o n between c l a s s e s , but c o o p e r a t i o n and h e l p i n g other students i n our own classroom. You f e e l c l o s e to your classmates. Here students don't t r y v e r y much to help other s t u d e n t s . In Canada we j u s t work f o r o u r s e l v e s as i n d i v i d u a l s . I#25: In China students love to l e a r n and success i n s c h o o l and p o p u l a r i t y are l i n k e d . Here marks ar e n ' t important and students who s k i p out can s t i l l be popular. People a r e n ' t judged a c c o r d i n g to t h e i r performance. In China students s k i p p i n g out wouldn't be allowed. (When asked what would happen...)The teacher would v i s i t the parents. Teachers and parents cooperate. You c o u l d n ' t get away with i t . Here s o c i e t y g i v e s too much space. There i s nothing the p r i n c i p a l can do. I#23: Schools here are e a s i e r . I f you f a i l one or two courses you can s t i l l go on, and take these courses at summer s c h o o l . In Colombia i f you f a i l you are allowed to t r y the t e s t a g a i n , but i f you f a i l i t a second time you must repeat the whole year. I#19: Teachers are s t r i c t e r and use punishment, while here teachers are not s t r i c t enough. Students don't l i s t e n . Given the p o s i t i v e c o g n i t i v e b e n e f i t s with b i l i n g u a l i s m as d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter Two, i t was of i n t e r e s t to d i s c o v e r whether the informants had p e r c e i v e d such b e n e f i t s as - 49 -p a r t o£ t h e i r own e x p e r i e n c e s . T h i s d i d not appear to be the case. To the i n t e r v i e w e r ' s q u e s t i o n , "Are there b e n e f i t s to l e a r n i n g another language?" s i x responses i n d i c a t e d i n s t r u m e n t a l b e n e f i t s and none responded t h a t i t makes you a b e t t e r student. I#6: I t helps f o r g e t t i n g a job, and f o r t r a v e l . I#22: I t ' s b e t t e r to f i n d a job. (Used example of jobs at Expo) However, t h i r t e e n c i t e d i n t e g r a t i v e b e n e f i t s : I#23: You can communicate with so many people. I#20: The person who knows two languages are worth two men. You can communicate with two d i f f e r e n t kinds of people and l e a r n (about) d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s , too. I#13: You get to know more about people, because before you o n l y know one language. In Vancouver i t i s a d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e , you go i n t o something new, but i t i s not that new. The way people see t h i n g s are d i f f e r e n t , but i n some ways s i m i l a r too. I j u s t f e e l kind of amazing l i k e how s i m i l a r they are sometimes and how d i f f e r e n t they are i n another way. The almost t o t a l lack of i n t e r e s t i n the informants' L l by the dominant c u l t u r e i s apparent from the response to the q u e s t i o n "Have you ever taught v o c a b u l a r y from your f i r s t language to other students or t e a c h e r s ? " However, the few p o s i t i v e responses i n d i c a t e d " t h a t the experience had pleased the informant. I# 16: Sometimes I say "Happy New Year" or "How are you?" I t ' s v ery i n t e r e s t i n g to walk down the h a l l and the E n g l i s h (ESL) teacher says, "How are you?" i n Chinese. I t h i n k i t ' s fun. I#10: No, you are the only one who speaks Chinese, (to the same ESL teacher) - 50 -I#9: Yes, to f r i e n d s and to the ESL teacher. They c o u l d n ' t f o l l o w i t . I t h i n k Korean i s the most d i f f i c u l t language. Ittl8: I taught a f r i e n d i n grade nine to count i n Vietnamese. That f r i e n d taught me to count i n Chinese. I#22: Mostly to say h i . I teach I t a l i a n to Canadians (of I t a l i a n o r i g i n ) who can't speak I t a l i a n anymore. I#21: Not r e a l l y . Koreans who have been born here don't speak t h a t w e l l . I f they want to (have him speak i n Korean) I would be glad t o . Summary These data demonstrate t h a t the informants d i d not appear to th i n k t h a t the c u r r i c u l u m should change, but what they appeared to d i s l i k e the most was the l*ack of d i s c i p l i n e of some of the r e g u l a r Canadian s t u d e n t s . Those Canadian students who, l i k e themselves, are hard working and high a c h i e v e r s were not mentioned. Very c l e a r l y the issue a r i s e s as to how e a r l i e r d i s c i p l i n e and longer s c h o o l hours i n the home country i n f l u e n c e s present success i n Canadian s c h o o l s . The d i f f e r i n g e d u c a t i o n a l s t r a t e g i e s and o b j e c t i v e s , i . e . a c o n c e n t r a t i o n on memorization, c o r p o r a l punishment, and f o r m a l i t i e s between teacher and p u p i l i n the e a r l i e r experiences i n the n a t i v e c o u n t r i e s are no longer s t r o n g l y emphasized i n g e n e r a l s c h o o l l i f e i n North America. While imposed d i s c i p l i n e appears to the informants to be s l a c k i n Canadian schools i n comparison to t h e i r own c o u n t r i e s , s e l f -d i s c i p l i n e and c o n s i s t e n c y are undoubtedly necessary f o r academic achievement, and may be even more necessary f o r the - 51 -r students who must l e a r n i n t h e i r second language. Rather than the need to change i n order to a d j u s t to Canadian s c h o o l s , i t i s a matter of a p p l y i n g t h e i r s e l f - d i r e c t e d d i s c i p l i n e i n t h e i r present s i t u a t i o n . Convinced t h a t education (which they b e l i e v e Canada can provide to those w i l l i n g to prove themselves) i s the route to an e c o n o m i c a l l y s u c c e s s f u l and s a t i s f y i n g f u t u r e , the informants are motivated toward academic suc c e s s . However, I d e t e c t e d l i t t l e or no awareness t h a t the informants p e r c e i v e of anything remarkable e i t h e r i n t h e i r a c h i e v i n g good marks while l e a r n i n g i n t h e i r second language or of the b i l i n g u a l outcome of t h e i r e d u c a t i o n . One might ponder whether they would f e e l more c o n f i d e n t , and t h e r e f o r e perhaps achieve even more s u c c e s s f u l l y , i f the importance of t h e i r b i l i n g u a l i s m were o v e r t l y recognized i n the s c h o o l s . C: In The ESL Classroom This s e c t i o n w i l l r e p o r t the informants' experiences i n ESL support c l a s s e s with the o b j e c t i v e of determining whether these c l a s s e s are considered important to t h e i r f u t u r e academic suc c e s s . Then an assessment of the informants' b i l i n g u a l i s m w i l l determine whether they are i n the c a t e g o r y of " a d d i t i v e b i l i n g u a l i s m " deemed by educators to be-important f o r the student's academic success as w e l l as h i s / h e r sense of w e l l being. I t i s a l s o c o n s i d e r e d a c r i t e r i o n f o r judging the success of the education program. - 52 -T h i s s e c t i o n w i l l conclude with the informants' own recommendations f o r ESL c l a s s e s . Overwhelmingly the informants agreed t h a t ESL c l a s s e s are necessary f o r f u t u r e academic success. What they expressed as p a r t i c u l a r l y important i n c l u d e both a f f e c t i v e and c u l t u r a l f a c t o r s i n a d d i t i o n to the presumed academic r o l e . These w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n t u r n . A f f e c t i v e and C u l t u r a l F a c t o r s The ESL classroom appears to be viewed as a r i s k - f r e e environment, an e s s e n t i a l p r e p a r a t o r y s t e p toward r e g u l a r c l a s s e s , and one where f r i e n d s h i p s are made. For some informants ESL c l a s s e s appear to r e p l a c e the c l a s s s o l i d a r i t y missed from t h e i r n a t i v e country, where the c l a s s s t u d y i n g the same program sta y s together over s e v e r a l years and the teachers move from room to room. Many continued to f e e l a bond with former ESL teachers even a f t e r being mainstreamed i n t o r e g u l a r c l a s s e s , knowing t h a t they could go to them f o r help i f necessary. I n t : How do/did you f e e l i n your ESL classroom? I#8: I t f e e l s comfortable where people have the same problem. A l s o the ESL teacher was e x t r a n i c e . 1#2: Very good. ESL people are very f o r t u n a t e . You can get used to speaking E n g l i s h . You can speak slow and wouldn't be so ashamed because everyone i s i n the same s i t u a t i o n . I#24: I t was comfortable because of meeting f r i e n d s from other c o u n t r i e s . I t was e a s i e r to make f r i e n d s . I#19: Great. I met a l o t of f r i e n d s from other c o u n t r i e s . - 53 -I#25: I t i s necessary to a d j u s t t o the d i f f e r e n t s c h o o l system. Maybe ESL c l a s s e s a r e n ' t necessary f o r a l l students. I would have l i k e d to be i n other c l a s s e s sooner, but maybe f o r some shy students t h i s wouldn't be so good. They wouldn't i n t e r a c t . At l e a s t to some extent students i n t e r a c t i n ESL c l a s s e s . I#3: Moral support. Schools are s m a l l e r i n Guatemala, and here you f e e l a f r a i d . .-< I t appears then t h a t ESL c l a s s e s have an important i n t r o d u c t o r y r o l e i n h e l p i n g m i n o r i t y students to f e e l comfortable and secure i n t h e i r new s c h o o l environment. The ESL classroom i s a l s o an i n t r o d u c t i o n to Canadian c u l t u r e f o r new stu d e n t s . Ittl3: In ESL you get more chance to speak and l i s t e n . You can ask about c u l t u r e . I#22: I never saw anyone from India b e f o r e . They're very n i c e guys. (Before I met other people) I thought o n l y I t a l i a n s were n i c e . Academic Role The important r o l e of the ESL classroom f o r academic success was expressed u n e q u i v o c a l l y . The q u e s t i o n , "Are ESL c l a s s e s necessary f o r l a t e r success i n s c h o o l ? " prompted nineteen a f f i r m a t i v e responses. Here the informants speak: l#7: Yes, but at f i r s t I d i d n ' t t h i n k so. Looking back I r e a l i z e i t was necessary. I t was q u i t e v a l u a b l e . I j u s t now r e a l i z e d i t when t a k i n g the E n g l i s h 12 government exam. I#4: Yes, because the language i s necessary. I t would have been d i f f i c u l t to go r i g h t i n t o content c l a s s e s . ^ I#16: Yes, because when you go i n t o r e g u l a r c l a s s e s the teache r s don't pay much a t t e n t i o n to you. There i s h a r d l y any d i s c u s s i o n . You j u s t l i s t e n to the teacher and hand i n assignments. I#10: Yes, because i t gets you s t a r t e d on very b a s i c t h i n g s , l i k e l e a r n i n g the alphabet. - 54 -Itt17: Yes, because i t prepares you from the very b a s i c s . Itt20: I t h i n k i f ESL wasn't there I couldn't have made i t t h i s f a r . ESL was r e a l l y the f a c t o r . Given the g e n e r a l f e e l i n g s about the value of ESL programs, the informants were asked to c o n s i d e r what ESL c l a s s work had c o n t r i b u t e d to r e g u l a r classroom work. Int : How did/does ESL help you most i n your s u b j e c t c l a s s e s ? Itt21: I t gave a b a s i c s t a n d i n g i n E n g l i s h , and an understanding of what was going to happen i n r e g u l a r c l a s s . I#16: I t was u s e f u l not j u s t f o r E n g l i s h , but E n g l i s h a s s o c i a t e d with other s u b j e c t s l i k e Math. You l e a r n b a s i c other t h i n g s , not as d i f f i c u l t as r e g u l a r c l a s s e s , but h e l p i n g you l e a r n i n r e g u l a r c l a s s e s . I#3: P r i m a r i l y i t helps with E n g l i s h and some s u b j e c t s l i k e Science, with w r i t i n g essays and r e a d i n g E n g l i s h ( l i t e r a t u r e ) and S o c i a l S t u d i e s . Ittl7: At the beginning I d i d n ' t know how to read a map. ESL c l a s s e s teach map r e a d i n g s k i l l s before grade ten geography. Ittl3: There are d i f f e r e n t meanings f o r the same word. L i k e Math. What does t h a t v ocabulary mean with Math problems? What i s the q u e s t i o n r e a l l y a s k i n g — by something, from something. And I don't f e e l t h a t sure about words t h a t have to go together (verbs and p r e p o s i t i o n s ) . ESL helped by (my) l e a r n i n g how to give an o r a l p r e s e n t a t i o n and how to w r i t e p r o j e c t s . Ittl5: I d i d n ' t know enough E n g l i s h i n content courses. ESL helps with vocabulary mainly. I t teaches about S o c i a l s and Math. The informants here have s t r e s s e d the importance of l e a r n i n g language to prepare them f o r t h e i r r e g u l a r c l a s s e s . None s a i d , f o r example, t h a t l e a r n i n g the past tense i s important, but r a t h e r s t r e s s e d v o c a b u l a r y r e l a t e d to t h e i r academic s u b j e c t s . - 55 -" A d d i t i v e B i l i n g u a l i s m " A l l informants (with the p o s s i b l e e x c e p t i o n of I#22 who l i v e s here alone and seldom speaks her n a t i v e Spanish) are i n an " a d d i t i v e b i l i n g u a l i s m " category, t h a t i s they will-*"" m aintain t h e i r L l while becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y f l u e n t i n the t a r g e t language. However, t h i s b i l i n g u a l f l u e n c y i s somewhat mo d i f i e d by the apparent l o s s of L l w r i t i n g s k i l l s , though most do read i n t h e i r L l , and i n a few cases a conscious e f f o r t i s made to maintain w r i t t e n f l u e n c y . I n t : When do you read i n your n a t i v e language? I#10: Chinese papers at home. I don't read i n Chinese unless my f a t h e r asks me t o . I#7: For P h y s i c s problems ( f o r example) I read the E n g l i s h textbook. I f i t ' s not c l e a r then I read the Chinese textbook. Reading i n both languages makes i t c l e a r e r ^ 1 I#19: I w r i t e l e t t e r s but seldom read i n Chinese. I'm l o s i n g i t a l i t t l e . In no i n s t a n c e s d i d there appear to be any m o t i v a t i o n on the p a r t of the informants to e n t i r e l y a s s i m i l a t e i n t o Canadian s o c i e t y by r e p l a c i n g t h e i r n a t i v e language with E n g l i s h . T h e i r n a t i v e language i s spoken i n the home by a l l but the above mentioned informant. Fourteen of the informants a l s o speak t h e i r n a t i v e language with f r i e n d s or others besides parents and s i b l i n g s , and nineteen mentioned s e e i n g n a t i v e language videos and movies. W r i t t e n f l u e n c y i n the f i r s t language i s , however, ne g l e c t e d with the e x c e p t i o n of a few who make a conscious e f f o r t to p r a c t i c e the l i t e r a c y s k i l l s . Only I#16 mentioned a conscious e f f o r t t o seek out - 56 -as f r i e n d s n a t i v e E n g l i s h speakers i n a d d i t i o n to those of h i s own language group. A f u r t h e r i n d i c a t i o n t h a t informants show elements of " a d d i t i v e " b i l i n g u a l i s m (vs. a s s i m i l a t i o n ) i s apparent i n t h e i r responses to the q u e s t i o n , "When do you f e e l r e a l l y happy at home?" Most c i t e d t h e i r happiest times as being those occasions when the immediate or extended f a m i l y was a l l together. I#25: When my whole f a m i l y , my grandparents, c o u s i n s , aunts and uncles get together. I#5: At dinner time because everyone i s together and we can t a l k together i n Mandarin. I#14: When we are a l l t o g e t h e r . I t doesn't happen v e r y o f t e n because my mother works two s h i f t s i n a laundry job. (She i s the s o l e support f o r her f a m i l y . ) I#19: When we are t a l k i n g and j o k i n g with the f a m i l y . We don't have t h a t much time t o g e t h e r . Two e x c e p t i o n a l responses were: I#6: When I'm alone and can l i s t e n to music, watch TV and eat a snack. I#23: When I'm alone or with my f r i e n d s . Given Canadian p o l i c y on m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , i t i s f i t t i n g t h a t , f o r our informants, adjustment to Canadian s o c i e t y does not demand a s s i m i l a t i o n . I#13: At sch o o l I speak Cantonese sometimes to f r i e n d s who p r e f e r to speak Cantonese with me. I t makes a f e e l i n g of being c l o s e r , s p e c i a l . I t ' s the same as i n Hong Kong where a l o t of white people who can speak Cantonese choose to speak E n g l i s h when they are tog e t h e r . - 57 -I t i s c l e a r a l s o , from t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n s of the importance to them of f a m i l y g a t h e r i n g s , t h a t m a i n t a i n i n g one's f i r s t language a l s o i n c o r p o r a t e s the maintenance of one's c u l t u r a l and f a m i l y t i e s . Recommendations For ESL Programs Here the informants speak to the q u e s t i o n , I f you were the ESL t e a c h e r , what would you change i n order to help your students with t h e i r s u b j e c t c l a s s e s ? I# l : Spend more time, l i k e a f t e r s c h o o l , to help students with assignments and to e x p l a i n v o c a b u l a r y and language. Give r e a d i n g i n s t r u c t i o n . I#7: Put more work on the students because work means f a s t e r improvement. I#9: We should memorize more vocabulary, maybe ten words a day. Take more d i c t a t i o n s . Push students a l i t t l e more. I#16: Having students study i n s m a l l groups would h e l p . Help us to understand about Canadian l i f e , how do people do t h i n g s here? Why do they go on s t r i k e ? I t ' s r e a l l y d i f f i c u l t because s t u f f i n r e g u l a r c l a s s i s n ' t r e a l l y simple s t u f f . But i t ' s h e l p f u l to have people study r e g u l a r c l a s s work i n a group. I#22: Make i t l a s t l o n g e r . The beginning year can be easy, but i n second year i t c o u l d be more of a r e g u l a r c l a s s . They're doing t h a t now ( i n t r a n s i t i o n a l c l a s s e s ) . That's very good. I'm t a l k i n g about before they had those c l a s s e s . T r a n s i t i o n a l c l a s s e s give a l o t of help i n E n g l i s h . I#24: A s s i g n more essays. P r a c t i c e speaking more^ Do r e a l schoolwork, l i k e S o c i a l S t u d i e s and Science. I#25: Teach the vocabulary from academic courses. Spend more time on v o c a b u l a r y every day. I used to study v o c a b u l a r y and i t r e a l l y helped. I#20: Nothing. They are doing w e l l . They always c o n s i d e r wanting to change t h i n g s , evaluate the ESL program. I#3: The program i s good, but more speaking and r e a d i n g would h e l p . Teachers don't make the students t a l k enough to develop spoken E n g l i s h . L - 58 -When asked what informants responded was u s e l e s s and unnecessary, with the f o l l o w i n g : the I#24: One block where students c o u l d read i n d i v i d u a l l y and study n o v e l s . We could do t h i s at home. I#23: Cut out a l l the s i n g i n g . I t ' s kind of s t u p i d . I#13: We don't have to spend so much time on one t h i n g . When we get the idea we could move alo n g . I#16: Not anyt h i n g , r e a l l y , on l o o k i n g back. When I went i n t o r e g u l a r c l a s s I r e a l i z e d t h a t ESL had been u s e f u l . But at the time I had f e e l i n g s , "Why am I doing t h i s ? I t won't help me i n r e g u l a r c l a s s . " I#19: Nothing. E v e r y t h i n g i s to teach you to use the proper language. Summary While informants had a few complaints and su g g e s t i o n s , there was overwhelming acceptance of the importance of ESL support to assure f u t u r e academic s u c c e s s . F i v e f e l t t h a t changes i n ESL c l a s s e s were unnecessary. Where changes were suggested they i n v o l v e d more, more, more... More time o u t s i d e s c h o o l hours to help students with t h e i r c l a s s assignments, to e x p l a i n v o c a b u l a r y and improve reading s k i l l s . (In other words, ongoing ESL support.) According t o our informants, ESL c l a s s e s should teach more vocabulary and re a d i n g , and provide more speaking and p r a c t i c e i n o r a l p r e s e n t a t i o n s . As f o r content, a r o l e was i d e n t i f i e d f o r the ESL classroom as a v e h i c l e to l e a r n v o c a b u l a r y r e l a t e d t o s p e c i f i c s u b j e c t s . A c u l t u r a l r o l e i s to provide background - 59 -i n Canadian h i s t o r y and about famous Canadians, and background to help informants understand about Canadian l i f e , i . e . "Why do they (union members) go on s t r i k e ? " A f f e c t i v e f a c t o r s such as moral support, a r i s k f r e e l e a r n i n g environment, and an o p p o r t u n i t y to meet f r i e n d s , which were mentioned as having been important f a c t o r s i n t h e i r adjustment to Canadian s c h o o l s , might t h e r e f o r e u l t i m a t e l y be a p o s s i b l e f a c t o r i n t h e i r academic success. A d d i t i v e b i l i n g u a l i s m might a l s o be assumed to have a b e n e f i c i a l r e s u l t , though as with other a f f e c t i v e elements t h i s i s s p e c u l a t i v e . The f a c t t h a t students are comfortable speaking t h e i r n a t i v e language at s c h o o l i s an i n d i c a t i o n of a more a c c e p t i n g and humane a t t i t u d e on the p a r t of s c h o o l a d m i n i s t r a t o r s . Such acceptance may be an important f a c t o r i n the academic success of these s t u d e n t s . D: The ESL Student i n the Regular Classroom In t h i s s e c t i o n informants w i l l r e l a t e t h e i r experiences when mainstreamed i n t o the r e g u l a r academic classroom. Such an e x p l o r a t i o n , i n a d d i t i o n to i d e n t i f y i n g p o s i t i v e a s p e c t s , i s intended to determine d i f f i c u l t i e s i n p a r t i c u l a r s u b j e c t area s , communication problems i n the classroom, how informants prepare f o r t h e i r assignments and exams, what kinds of assignments and exam questions are easy or d i f f i c u l t , and how comfortable they f e e l w i t h i n the classroom. T h i s s e c t i o n of questions i s meant to provide a d e s c r i p t i o n of the experience i n order to b e t t e r understand the informant w i t h i n h i s / h e r s c h o o l environment. - 60 -Table IV: Informants' Subject P r e f e r e n c e s I# M/F GA* L l NC FS LFS ES MDS 1 M 3 Span Spain Span Math SS Math 3 F 2.5 Span Guatemala Eng - Text B i o l 23 F 4 Span Colombia — - - -2 M 2 V i e t Vietnam Ch/Ph Eng - -18 M 1 V i e t Vietnam Math - — PE 6 M 2 Thai T h a i l a n d SS - Art Math 4 F 3.5 Pun j I n d i a - Math Chem Phys 11 F 2 Pers Afghan - SS Math Eng 15 F 2.5 Pers Afghan SS Chem Comp SS 22 M 4 I t a l I t a l y Geog - - -9 M 2 Kor Korea - D r a f t Alge SS 20 M 2.5 Kor Korea H i s t Phys PE Eng 21 F 1.5 Kor Korea Math - Math SS 5 F 2 Mand Taiwan Chem Math Math Eng 16 M 2 Mand Taiwan Geog SS Alge Eng 7 M 2.5 Mand China Math - Acct Eng 8 F 1.5 Mand China - PE Math Eng 17 F 2 Chin China Math - Alge Eng 19 F 2 Chin China Math H i s t Math Eng 10 M 3.5 Cant China - Eng - Eng 12 F 2.5 Cant China Math SS Math SS 14 F 3 Cant China Math B i o l Math Eng 25 F 2.5 Cant China - ConsEd - Eng 24 F 3 Cant Vietnam Chem Eng Acct Alge 13 F 2.5 Cant HongKong B i o l Phys Comp Math *GA denotes grade average, determined by a s s i g n i n g a number to, then averaging the l e t t e r grades, i . e . A (1), B (2), C+ (3) , C (4), C- (5) . The lower number denotes higher grade average. Gen = gender NC = n a t i v e country FS = f a v o u r i t e s u b j e c t LFS = l e a s t f a v o u r i t e s u b j e c t ES = e a s i e s t s u b j e c t MDS = most d i f f i c u l t s u b j e c t - 61 -Responses to questions on s u b j e c t p r e f e r e n c e s and s u b j e c t d i f f i c u l t i e s are presented i n Table IV, p 61. I n t : Is d i f f i c u l t y more o f t e n with language or with understanding content? ( S p e c i f y i f d i f f e r e n t f o r d i f f e r e n t courses, i . e . Math vs. S o c i a l S t u d i e s ) . To t h i s q u e s t i o n ten responded t h a t language i s the main b a r r i e r to t h e i r understanding, s i x t h a t i t i s the lack of understanding of the concepts, and e i g h t expressed t h a t both language and concepts cause them d i f f i c u l t y . T h i s v a r i e d with d i f f e r e n t s u b j e c t s : I#13: There i s d i f f i c u l t y with both the concepts and the language with P h y s i c s . But maybe i f I understand E n g l i s h b e t t e r i t would h e l p . But i n P h y s i c s even i f the teacher e x p l a i n s the words I s t i l l might not understand. In S o c i a l S t u d i e s i t ' s d i f f e r e n t . I f I look up a word I can understand i t . I#14: In B i o l o g y the language i s the problem. In Math the language i s not d i f f i c u l t . I#21: I t v a r i e s between s u b j e c t s . The language i s more d i f f i c u l t i n S o c i a l Studies than i n Math. I#9: I t depends on the s u b j e c t . In Science content i s most d i f f i c u l t . i n Geography the content i s easHer than the language. I#25: By now i t ' s the concepts and content. I t ' s the same fo r a l l s u b j e c t s . I#17: Probably the language. Sometimes you understand one meaning of a word, but some words have so many d i f f e r e n t meanings. It i s apparent t h a t the informants have a number of l i k e s and d i s l i k e s , and encounter more d i f f i c u l t i e s with c e r t a i n s u b j e c t s than with o t h e r s . In order to get a sense of what i s expected of students they were asked to r e l a t e some of t h e i r o r a l and w r i t t e n assignments and how they - 62 -prepared f o r them. Some examples are as 'follows: O r a l Assignments: ( H i s t o r y ) on "Heritage B u i l d i n g s i n Vancouver". ( S o c i a l S t u d i e s ) on c u r r e n t events. ( E n g l i s h ) a presented t o p i c a t o p i c chosen by the student. ( E n g l i s h ) on an author. (French) a group p r e s e n t a t i o n : "A T r i p In The Jungle". W r i t t e n Assignments: ( S o c i a l s S t u d i e s ) "Sundays i n the 1920's compared with the p r e s e n t . " (Science) a r e p o r t on Cockroaches. ( E n g l i s h ) essay on a famous person. ( E n g l i s h ) essay to c r i t i q u e a n o v e l . (Geography) u n s p e c i f i e d w r i t t e n assignment. (Science) A B i o g r a p h i c a l Report on a S c i e n t i s t . (Economics) u n s p e c i f i e d essay. (Consumer Education) weekly s h o r t assignments. P r e p a r a t i o n f o r o r a l and w r i t t e n assignments and exams were f a i r l y standard and s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d . For o r a l assignments most followed the procedure of r e s e a r c h i n g , p l a n n i n g and then p r a c t i c i n g the p r e s e n t a t i o n i n f r o n t of a f r i e n d , partner or f a m i l y member. Most r e p o r t e d f e e l i n g nervous, with one e x c e p t i o n , the I t a l i a n speaker who "enjoys t a l k i n g to a person". I#22: I j u s t use a paper f o r notes, but when I speak I put i t i n my own words. I can make i t funny and more i n t e r e s t i n g . Some students are j u s t t a l k i n g to the a i r or to the t e acher. I had a l o t of questions (audience response) a f t e r my assignment. - 63 -On p r e p a r i n g f o r w r i t t e n assignments: I#17: I t r y to a p p l y what I've l e a r n e d i n t o my w r i t i n g . I t r y to make an o u t l i n e , do b r a i n s t o r m i n g and develop i n t o paragraph form. I proofread and then make a good copy. Sometimes I r e w r i t e . For vocabulary I use a d i c t i o n a r y and thesaurus, and t r y to use a v a r i e t y . I use a C h i n e s e - E n g l i s h d i c t i o n a r y . As f o r p r e p a r a t i o n f o r exams, eigh t e e n of those who responded always study alone and three study sometimes with a f r i e n d or s i b l i n g f o r c e r t a i n s u b j e c t s . None r e p o r t e d s t u d y i n g r e g u l a r l y with another person, though they may seek c l a r i f i c a t i o n from a teacher or another student f o r those p o i n t s that are not understood. I n t : How do you prepare f o r exams? (study alone / with f r i e n d s / memorize i n f o r m a t i o n , e t c . ) I#5: Study a l o t a t home. Understanding i s more important than to memorize. I # l : Leave the e a s i e s t f o r l a s t and s t a r t with the hard ones. In Math I spend 1 or 2 ^ o u r s doing the e x e r c i s e s , t r y i n g to do them by myself. For language heavy s u b j e c t s I go through the book, read i n g and t r y i n g to get the main i d e a s . I h i g h l i g h t these and t r y to memorize them. I»4: I don't memorize, but go by l o g i c . I#8: Do i t day by day, u s u a l l y a f t e r s c h o o l , so t h a t when exams come up there i s no need to study f o r them. I can review o n l y . Some t h i n g s I memorize. IIJ16: For p r o v i n c i a l exams I s t u d i e d an o l d t e s t paper. I p i c k out the t h i n g s I don't understand and go over them. I j u s t drop the t h i n g s I a l r e a d y know. I don't memorize. The questions give you q u e s t i o n s i n your mind. You have to f i n d answers to them. I#20: Having to w r i t e and express ideas i s new to me. In Korea exams are mostly m u l t i p l e c h o i c e . I give myself a q u e s t i o n and t r y to w r i t e . I don't b e l i e v e i n memorizing. IU25: Make chapter notes and memorize the notes. I mostly study alone, but i t i s d i f f e r e n t f o r d i f f e r e n t s u b j e c t s . For French I need to p r a c t i c e with a f r i e n d . - 64 -I#12: I study a l o n e . I take the important p o i n t s and look over notes, then I t e s t myself by a s k i n g myself que s t i o n s and w r i t i n g down answers. Otherwise I would f o r g e t about them. Essay q u e s t i o n s were mentioned as the most d i f f i c u l t type of exam questions f o r reasons as f o l l o w s : I#21: Paragraphs a s k i n g me to " e x p l a i n i n d e t a i l " . I f I memorize ( i n advance) I can f o r g e t one sentence and i t ' s a l l o f f . The thought of t h i s kind of process i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y s c a r y . I#20: Questions l i k e " e x p l a i n " or " d e s c r i b e " . Questions t h a t demand your E n g l i s h a b i l i t y , t h a t you have to w r i t e . I#2: Algebra word problems. When voca b u l a r y i s u n c e r t a i n i t i s hard to understand the q u e s t i o n . I#17: W r i t t e n essays because of the E n g l i s h problem. Sometimes I get the idea but what I w r i t e i s not t h a t good. I t p u l l s my mark down q u i t e a b i t . I#3: Essay questions because you don't have the chance to r e w r i t e what you've w r i t t e n . In a d d i t i o n to essay questions I#24 added problem s o l v i n g i n P h y s i c s and Chemistry as a l s o d i f f i c u l t , I#25 mentioned m u l t i p l e choice questions because "sometimes they are t r i c k y " , and I#9 r e p o r t e d c l o z e e x e r c i s e s as most d i f f i c u l t . As f o r e a s i e s t q u e s t i o n s , c a l c u l a t i o n s , one word answers and true and f a l s e were mentioned, but the overwhelming choice was m u l t i p l e choice — " m u l t i p l e guess" as I#7 put i t . Two mentioned m u l t i p l e choice as g i v i n g you an e x t r a chance; i f you d i d n ' t know f o r sure, you c o u l d u s u a l l y p i c k the r i g h t answer. I n t : Do your course teachers give e x t r a help to ESL speakers? - 65 -I # l : Yes, i f you don't understand you can go and ask. He (a c e r t a i n teacher) doesn't mind e x p l a i n i n g three or four times. A l l the teachers are h e l p f u l . I#13: Some do, some don't. Most are too busy. C l a s s e s are l a r g e , and there i s n ' t t h a t much time f o r i n d i v i d u a l h e l p . Sometimes teachers a l l o w e x t r a time, but I can be on time i n my assignments (so does not need s p e c i a l c o n c e s s i o n s ) . I#15: I f you ask f o r help a f t e r s c h o o l . I#19: Sometimes, but some ask other students to help you. I t ' s not l i k e ESL teachers who ask you where you are and help you i n d i v i d u a l l y . I#2: Sometimes they don't even n o t i c e I'm an ESL speaker, so there i s no d i f f e r e n c e . I#16: Most teac h e r s give e x t r a h e l p , not j u s t to ESL students but to anyone who wants help, ESL or r e g u l a r . I#17: Not r e a l l y . Everyone i s t r e a t e d the same. You shouldn't expect the teachers to t r e a t you d i f f e r e n t l y because i n u n i v e r s i t y everyone should be the same. Some of the informants mentioned a s p e c i a l r a p p o r t with c e r t a i n course t e a c h e r s . I#24: I l i k e Chemistry, P h y s i c s and Accounting because of the t e a c h e r s . I t ' s fun, no pressure and easy going teachers who are always i n a good mood. I#16: My Geography teacher had the a b i l i t y to get t h i n g s i n t o your mind. When questions came out he would put tha t answer on the board. He gets you r e a l l y i n v o l v e d i n the s u b j e c t and r e a l l y i n t e r e s t e d . The informants o v e r a l l f e e l l e s s comfortable i n content c l a s s e s than i n ESL c l a s s e s . -This i s understandable, g i v e n the d i f f e r e n t focus and s t r u c t u r e of r e g u l a r and ESL classrooms. What makes the informants uncomfortable i n r e g u l a r c l a s s e s ? - 66 -I&19: I sometimes f e e l t h a t some students are p r e j u d i c e d . I f e e l l e f t (alone) and u n l i k e d . Maybe i t ' s because I don't speak t h a t much. But t h i s i s changing. I f you l i k e to speak with others you need to know the language so you're not a f r a i d to speak to o t h e r s . I#13: Teachers sometimes use Canadian ex p r e s s i o n s and I'm not sure what the teacher i s t r y i n g to say. Sometimes you can e x p l a i n , "I don't understand" and they t h i n k you are daydreaming. Sometimes they are so busy -- upset with n o i s y members of the c l a s s — and don't welcome student q u e s t i o n s . In Canada i f you don't say anything you are ch i c k e n . In our c u l t u r e i t doesn't mean the same. Not sa y i n g something i s p o l i t e . Sometimes students keep pushing day by day. When you ( f i n a l l y because of being pushed too f a r ) say something back the students are so shocked and s u r p r i s e d , and a f t e r t h a t they are so n i c e and p o l i t e t o me. I&2: My accent and my name. But p r a c t i c e and time w i l l h e l p . I#16: S i t t i n g i n the back of the classroom when people i n f r o n t of me are d i s t u r b i n g me. I#9: My p r o n u n c i a t i o n . Other students i m i t a t e my wrong p r o n u n c i a t i o n and tease by t e l l i n g jokes i n s l a n g (which the informant has t r o u b l e understanding). I#4: Not any more, but at f i r s t Canadian students would make fun of me. I#24: In some c l a s s e s the teacher doesn't care about a l l the students -- j u s t those who are good i n t h e i r c l a s s e s . I#7: I get along with the students and t e a c h e r s . No problem. V o l u n t e e r i n g answers i n c l a s s and p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n c l a s s d i s c u s s i o n s was an uncomfortable experience f o r most. ( I t c ould be noted, however, t h a t many n a t i v e speakers a l s o f e e l t h i s r e t i c e n c e . ) Of those who responded, f i v e v o l u n t e e r to p a r t i c i p a t e , four do not. T h i r t e e n q u a l i f i e d t h e i r responses: I#24: I w i l l answer questions i f I fcnow the answer, but I don't j o i n i n c l a s s d i s c u s s i o n s . - 67 -I&25: I prepare i n advance f o r d i s c u s s i o n s . I check with my f r i e n d s , "Do you know what I'm s a y i n g ? " I v o l u n t e e r i n other courses, but not so much i n E n g l i s h . I#19: Yes, but I'm kind of shy to answer i n whole c l a s s . I t i s improving. I never answered a t f i r s t . But i t would help i f I t a l k e d more. I#17: I f the group i s smal l I w i l l ask q u e s t i o n s . But I don't l i k e to v o l u n t e e r to the whole c l a s s . I#8: I g r a d u a l l y f e e l more comfortable. S t i l l I don't t a l k as much as I should and leave i t up to o t h e r s . I n t : How do you f e e l about being asked when you have not vol u n t e e r e d to answer? Is i t the same f o r ESL c l a s s ? I#12: I f I don't know (the answer) I get nervous. I get l o s t sometimes and don't know the answer. In ESL a l l the people are the same and the teacher always t a l k e d s l o w l y so we understood. I#3: L i k e any student I don't l i k e i t , but I answer as them as w e l l as I can. I#17: At f i r s t q u i t e nervous. I t r y to answer i f I know. If I don't know I j u s t say, "I don't know." In ESL c l a s s I am more w i l l i n g to ask q u e s t i o n s . Everyone around you i s the same. They won't laugh a t me. I#25: At f i r s t i t made me r e a l l y nervous. Now i t doesn't bother me. In ESL i t wasn't the same where everyone i s a t the same l e v e l and you won't get laughed a t . Now I ' l l t r y not to make a f o o l of myself and onl y answer i f I'm sure. I#20: I am annoyed. I don't l i k e t eachers who j u s t go around s a y i n g , "You. You. You." I f e e l nervous, and more nervous i f I don't know the answer. I t h i n k t h a t ' s what every ESL student f e e l s . So when I get a teacher who asks a l o t of ques t i o n s i t ' s r e a l l y bad. Sometimes I s i t a t the back of the room. I#21: I f e e l scared and say, "I don't know." I t was d i f f e r e n t i n ESL c l a s s because everyone knows you aren't a good speaker and understands when you make mistakes. There are t h i n g s I might understand but I'm kind of a f r a i d of i t when I haven't t r i e d i t (to express them o r a l l y ) . I#15: I t ' s okay. I f I don't know, t h a t ' s okay too. Because f o r most other students i t ' s the same. They don't know some t h i n g s . I t ' s the same f o r ESL c l a s s . - 68 -I t i s obvious t h a t the informants show v a r i a t i o n s of d i s c o m f o r t which c o u l d be found i n the wider p o p u l a t i o n . However, i n the case of the ESL informants the nervousness appears to be exacerbated because of the language d i f f i c u l t y and the fear of r i d i c u l e with mispronouncing a word. I#14: Sometimes I know the answer but i t j u s t won't come out. When I'm asked I get nervous, even now. I t ' s s t i l l the same. I'd r a t h e r v o l u n t e e r the answer. In ESL i t was q u i t e d i f f e r e n t because u s u a l l y i n ESL c l a s s you tend to be more comfortable. Sometimes you don't know how to pronounce a word and you can j u s t ask your neighbour. Lack of a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s d e t r i m e n t a l to s c h o o l success i n some classrooms where students are e v a l u a t e d on o r a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n . T h i s f a c t p l a c e s a h e avier p e n a l t y on students who lack confidence i n speaking. The informants p e r c e i v e t h i s as a d i s t i n c t l i a b i l i t y . Content teachers face the task of p r o v i d i n g meaningful i n f o r m a t i o n f o r a l l students;^ comprehensible input becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t as concepts to be presented become more a b s t r a c t and f u r t h e r removed from the present c o n t e x t . Of course teachers are aware of the problem of modifying language to e x p l a i n content. One informant r e a l i z e s t h a t , "Sometimes the language used i s d i f f i c u l t even f o r n a t i v e speakers. And the r e a d i n g . You have to read i t two or three times to understand i t . " (I#3) An added handicap f o r ESL s t u d e n t s , a l r e a d y at a g r e a t e r disadvantage given t h a t i n s t r u c t i o n i s o f f e r e d i n t h e i r second language, i s the lack of a "shared background of e x p e r i e n c e " f o r understanding much of the m a t e r i a l being presented. - 69 -I»17: There i s so much mis s i n g background l i k e a n c i e n t Greece and h i s t o r i c a l events t h a t I have no idea what's going on. I get the l i t e r a l meaning only. Reading between the l i n e s i s d i f f i c u l t . But i n Science i t ' s okay, because i t ' s s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d . Informants r e p o r t e d some p e r c e i v e d problems with classroom l e c t u r e s and o f f e r e d a number of suggestions which dwelt more s p e c i f i c a l l y on the classroom teachers* s t y l e and c l a r i t y of p r e s e n t a t i o n . For example, many suggested t h a t i t would help them to understand.,lectures and to take notes i f teachers would s t r e s s and repeat important words and ideas and w r i t e them on the board. I n a b i l i t y to l i s t e n and take notes a t the same time was c i t e d by s e v e r a l informants as a d i f f i c u l t y — they a p p r e c i a t e when teach e r s give students enough time to j o t down important ideas and vocabulary. In most cases those informants who r e p o r t e d d i f f i c u l t i e s with s l a n g or use of idiom were unable to c i t e s p e c i f i c examples where t h i s had occurred. One mentioned i d i o m a t i c phrases i n Algebra without s p e c i f y i n g . Another c i t e d the novel "Huckleberry F i n n " as an example of i d i o m a t i c usage which made understanding very d i f f i c u l t . S t i l l another f e l t t h a t s l a n g and idiom was more problematic f o r i n f o r m a l c o n v e r s a t i o n , where "a piece of cake means easy", than f o r s u b j e c t c o u r s e s . S p e c i a l i z e d v o c a b u l a r y a c c o r d i n g to s u b j e c t , such as determining which of a number of d i c t i o n a r y d e f i n i t i o n s t o choose when voc a b u l a r y becomes s p e c i a l i z e d a c c o r d i n g to s u b j e c t area, was more o f t e n c i t e d as a communication problem i n c l a s s than use of s l a n g or idiom. - 70 -summary While the informants have a number of d i f f i c u l t i e s which would appear to be s i m i l a r to those of "'the g e n e r a l p o p u l a t i o n , i . e . d i f f i c u l t y understanding content and lack of confidence i n speaking i n f r o n t of the c l a s s , these problems are almost s u r e l y exacerbated because of t h e i r n on-English background. The f a c t t h at many mentioned i n c i d e n t s where they had been r i d i c u l e d f o r t h e i r accents a t t e s t s t o t h i s . Communication problems a l s o r e s u l t i n r e c e p t i v e s i t u a t i o n s such as d i f f i c u l t y i n understanding due to the t e a c h e r ' s d e l i v e r y , which they f i n d a t times too quick or too d i f f i c u l t . Notetaking while the teacher i s speaking i s d i f f i c u l t when the informant must devote f u l l a t t e n t i o n i n order to understand what i s s a i d , and they would a p p r e c i a t e the r e p e t i t i o n of important p o i n t s and time l e f t to make a note of these. F i n a l l y , some informants express a lack of background i n western thought which n a t i v e speakers would have learned from e a r l y c h i l d h o o d experiences through to the p r e s e n t . T h i s appears to be a p a r t i c u l a r d e f i c i t f o r the study of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e and S o c i a l S t u d i e s . Table IV (p 61) i n d i c a t e s t h a t E n g l i s h and S o c i a l Studies are overwhelmingly the most d i f f i c u l t s u b j e c t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r the informants of Asian background. On the p o s i t i v e s i d e students appear to have worked on a number of i n t e r e s t i n g and u s e f u l assignments, and s e v e r a l commented on e n j o y i n g the c l a s s e s of a p a r t i c u l a r l y g i f t e d - 71 -and/or understanding teacher. Such student/teacher r a p p o r t i s , no doubt, a b e n e f i c i a l f a c t o r i n f l u e n c i n g the academic success of st u d e n t s . E: Student S t r a t e g i e s A major i s s u e as ESL l e a r n e r s go about l e a r n i n g c o n t e x t -reduced, a b s t r a c t m a t e r i a l i s that of "meaningful i n p u t " . When they do not understand due to d i f f i c u l t i e s with the language of i n s t r u c t i o n , how do they^cope? In the e a r l i e r d i s c u s s i o n of the l i t e r a t u r e i t was noted t h a t the students who were most s u c c e s s f u l a c a d e m i c a l l y were those who had the o p p o r t u n i t y to d i s c u s s concepts i n t h e i r L l . ( S a v i l l e - T r o i k e 1984) W i l l t h i s a l s o be one of the s t r a t e g i e s of these " a c a d e m i c a l l y s u c c e s s f u l " informants, or w i l l they r e l y on na t i v e E n g l i s h speakers, students or te a c h e r s , to f u r t h e r d e f i n e the concepts i n L2? Thi s s e c t i o n w i l l e xplore the informants responses to questions about t h e i r own l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g i e s which might c o n t r i b u t e to t h e i r success and to r e l a t e what they would c o n s i d e r to be u s e f u l changes to help students succeed. When they do not understand the concepts due to t h e i r d i f f i c u l t i e s with the language of i n s t r u c t i o n , many of the informants responded by making use of L l , p a r t i c u l a r l y a t t h e i r i n i t i a l i n t r o d u c t i o n i n t o r e g u l a r c l a s s e s . I#20: I used a Korean B i b l e t o help me understand E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e . I#25: I t i s always i n Chinese when my brother helps me. - 72 -I#7: I have correspondence books from my uncle i n China f o r Algebra, P h y s i c s and Chemistry. In Algebra and Ph y s i c s I used Chinese so I d i d w e l l . I d i d n ' t read many chemistry problems ( i n Chinese) so I d i d n ' t do as w e l l . For me i t ' s good, ( i . e . a good method) but i t depends on time. I#11: At f i r s t my uncle helped me with my s c h o o l work i n P e r s i a n . But not now. I#5: My parents help me study ( i n Mandarin). I#21: I t h i n k i n Korean. For w r i t t e n assignments I go to my broth e r s and s i s t e r s f o r he l p . Notetaking i s a l s o i n Korean. ( T r a n s l a t e notes a t home and w r i t e s i n E n g l i s h . ) Six of the informants use (or have used) textbooks and encyclopaedias w r i t t e n i n t h e i r n a t i v e language. Four others s a i d t h a t they would use them i f they were a v a i l a b l e . T h i r t e e n do not use them because they f e e l t h i s i s not a good method. As f o r d i c t i o n a r i e s , s i x informants use an E n g l i s h d i c t i o n a r y only; three use a b i l i n g u a l d i c t i o n a r y and nine use both k i n d s . Those who make use of both kinds use them for s p e c i f i c o c c a s i o n s , i . e . when w r i t i n g i n Chinese. For t h e i r s c h o o l work they t r y the E n g l i s h one f i r s t , then r e s o r t to the b i l i n g u a l one when they don't understand the E n g l i s h def i n i t i o n . E l e v e n of the informants do not use L l f o r academic work. Nine use the n a t i v e language and two d i d i n the beginning but no longer do so ve r y o f t e n . One informants' f a t h e r asks her to t r a n s l a t e her sc h o o l work to the n a t i v e language i n order to e x p l a i n to him what she i s doing a t s c h o o l . While some informants i n d i c a t e d t h a t t r a n s l a t i n g f o r n o t e t a k i n g , e t c . would be a ve r y time-consuming and i n e f f i c i e n t method, others appear to depend upon the use of L l to provide "meaningful i n p u t " i n t h e i r content courses. In response to the q u e s t i o n , "When you have d i f f i c u l t y with your s c h o o l work to whom do you go f o r help?", the responses were as f o l l o w s : -course teacher a f t e r s c h o o l -- 7 -ask course teacher d u r i n g c l a s s — 0 -course teacher and ESL teacher -- 5 -course teacher or a f r i e n d — 1 - f r i e n d s o n l y -- 1 -ESL teacher or teacher l i b r a r i a n - 1 ^ -ESL teacher or f r i e n d - 1 - f a m i l y members or teachers - 5 -books - 1 - t r i e s t o work i t out alone - 1 - n a t i v e speaking student - 1 -ESL f r i e n d , i . e . f r i e n d from same l a n g . group - 6 The d e c i s i o n on who to go to i s based on the f o l l o w i n g : I#7: The s u b j e c t teacher because teac h e r s are smarter than f r i e n d s . ^ I#10: At s c h o o l to the ESL teacher because I know them b e t t e r (than the s u b j e c t teacher) At home I w i l l ask my u n c l e . I#25: I ask my brother f o r a l l other s u b j e c t s , and my f r i e n d s f o r E n g l i s h . I don't choose teachers because i t i s always at homework when the problems a r i s e . I#15: I ask f r i e n d s f i r s t i f they know how to do i t . (Among h i s f r i e n d s he i s the one who u s u a l l y goes to a teacher f o r h e l p , then e x p l a i n s to f r i e n d s . ) I don't mind being seen as the dumb person. So much I l e a r n . I#12: I ask the teacher a f t e r s c h o o l . I w i l l ask a q u e s t i o n i n c l a s s i f I r e a l l y have t o . There's noone i n my f a m i l y to h e l p . - 74 -Itt20: Maybe sometimes I ask a f r i e n d when the q u e s t i o n i s going to seem r e a l l y s i l l y . When asked i f f r i e n d s are important f o r s c h o o l success, the informants responded: I#7: For some smart people they can do both (make f r i e n d s and succeed i n s c h o o l ) . But f o r me f r i e n d s d i s t r a c t . I w i l l go out with f r i e n d s when I am grown up. Ittl3: Yes, because you can ask and get help i f you don't know something. They can p r o o f r e a d your w r i t t e n work. Also f o r support. School i s a place f o r you to l e a r n how to l i v e with other people and l e a r n s o c i a l s k i l l s . I#16: Yes, because you tend to f o l l o w what your f r i e n d s are doing. B r a i n y f r i e n d s who get s t r a i g h t A's taught me to separate fun time and study time -- to say no. A t h l e t i c f r i e n d s can teach you to take t h i n g s easy. I get to know each type and l e a r n from each type. I t ' s not a good idea to hang around c e r t a i n groups, like* p r i v i l e g e d groups who tempt you to do t h i n g s j u s t to f i t i n . I don't do t h a t . I#25: Yes, because f r i e n d s i n f l u e n c e you. I t depends on what kind of f r i e n d s . I t i s important to choose c a r e f u l l y . I#8: Yes, v e r y . Sometimes f r i e n d s understand problems when your parents don't. I t would appear from these responses t h a t f r i e n d s are considered o n l y m a r g i n a l l y important f o r academic success, but t h a t they meet s t r o n g a f f e c t i v e needs, i . e . emotional support and b e l o n g i n g . In many cases the informants' grade achievements would be a c c e p t a b l e f o r high a c h i e v i n g n a t i v e speaking s t u d e n t s . Given the f a c t t h a t s e v e r a l of these students work part-time (up to 20 hours per week out of n e c e s s i t y ) and are l e a r n i n g i n t h e i r second language, t h e i r achievements appear even more remarkable. (See Table V, p76, showing hours of homework and hours spent i n o u t s i d e employment.) - 75 -Table V: Informants Use of Time Outside School Iff NC Hrs/HW Hrs/Emp Study 1 Spain 2 none alo n e * 2 Vietnam 2-3 16 alone 3 Guatemala 1 16 alone 4 I n d i a 3 none alone 5 Taiwan 2-3 none alone 6 T h a i l a n d f i n i s h e s a t s c h o o l 8-10 -7 China 6-8 12 alone 8 China at s c h o o l & l h r home none alone 9 Korea 3 none alone 10 China 1-2 none alone 11 Af g h a n i s t a n 4-5 none alo n e * 12 China 1-2 5 alone 13 Hong Kong 4-5 none 14 China 2 none alone 15 Af g h a n i s t a n 3 20 16 Taiwan 4-5 f r i e n d s 17 China 1/2 -1** f r i e n d s 18 Vietnam 2-3 none alone 19 China 8 20 Korea 2 none alone 21 Korea 2-3 none 22 I t a l y 2-3 none alone* 23 Colombia 2 none alone 24 Vietnam up t o 7 20 alone 25 China 3 none alo n e * *denotes usual study time i s alone, but with f r i e n d s f o r s p e c i f i c s u b j e c t s or o c c a s i o n s . * * T h i s i s the student who has slowed down because of s t r e s s . She does minimal homework, then crams a t exam time. Hrs/HW = hours of homework per day. Hrs/Emp = hours of employment per week. - 76 -I n t : What s c h o o l experiences from your n a t i v e country have helped you here i n Canada? I#2: The r u l e s i n my country are s t r i c t and I used t o have harsh t e s t s . Here i t i s e a s i e r , so I don't have problems. I#13: The way of the c u l t u r e and the sc h o o l r e g u l a t i o n s are r e a l l y tough ( i n Hong Kong). I t was too s t r i c t . I learned to work harder, so here i t i s automatic to complete assignments on time and other t h i n g s . I#14: You have t o do more i n my n a t i v e country. I got used to working r e a l l y hard. I#22: Schools i n I t a l y r e q u i r e d more homework. In Grade 7 I was s t u d y i n g four hours a day. Here I study three hours a day. And there you go to s c h o o l on Saturday. Here you get ex t r a time on the weekends to study. I#25: My a t t i t u d e toward s c h o o l . E a r l i e r d i s c i p l i n e and longer hours help me i n Canada. I am used to us i n g e x t r a time f o r s c h o o l work. I#6: Math and Science i n my n a t i v e country helped prepare me for here. In t : What are important t h i n g s to do to be s u c c e s s f u l i n school? I#25: Study and review. L o t s of r e p e t i t i o n h e l p s . Ask questi o n s when you don't understand. To l e a r n a second language you shouldn't be shy. I#22: Get a l o t of e x t r a help from t e a c h e r s . Make b e t t e r f r i e n d s with t e a c h e r s . I've had l o t s of " f r i e n d " t e a c h e r s ( i . e . teachers with whom he has e s t a b l i s h e d a r a p p o r t ) . T h e y ' l l h elp you — give you t h a t e x t r a help t h a t you need. (He uses the example of h i s geography teacher.) I was there every day. At the end he gave me an o l d exam to help with the f i n a l . I was the only one (to whom he gave o l d exam papers) because I was there every day. He saw t h a t I r e a l l y wanted to get through. If you see a teacher r e a l l y cares f o r you, you w i l l study more t o show the teacher how much you a p p r e c i a t e what he has done f o r you. I#16: Your a t t i t u d e . Accept t h i n g s and f r i e n d s the way they a r e . I found t h a t I can make f r i e n d s i n d i v i d u a l l y , not with j u s t one group. I#17: You have to read more v a r i e t y , with d i f f e r e n t w r i t e r s . Don't r e s t r i c t y o u r s e l f . Sometimes go out with f r i e n d s . You p i c k up d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s . - 77 -I # l l : You have t o s t u d y . And have good p a r e n t s . You need t o have a c o m f o r t a b l e l i f e or o t h e r w i s e your mind won't be on your work. I#24: Keep a s k i n g q u e s t i o n s and go f o r h e l p w i t h problems. Do your homework. Reading i s good f o r e s s a y s . I # l : Study hard and t a k e e v e r y t h i n g s e r i o u s l y . Don't waste time i n c l a s s . I#7: Don't make t o o many f r i e n d s . Work h a r d . I n t : I f you were the t e a c h e r what would you change i n o r d e r t o h e l p s t u d e n t s l e a r n b e t t e r ? I#12: T r e a t everyone the same. Don't p l a y f a v o u r i t e s . Teachers f a v o u r the smart s t u d e n t s who t a l k a l o t i n c l a s s . I#16: F i n d out what problems the s t u d e n t s are h a v i n g . Help them u n d e r s t a n d on an i n d i v i d u a l b a s i s , because u s u a l l y a f t e r the f i r s t time t h e y won't have problems a t a l l . I#17: Teach about h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t s and (promote) u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the c o u n t r y . Teach more v o c a b u l a r y . I#22: Spend more out of c l a s s time w i t h the s t u d e n t s . But most t e a c h e r s do t h a t now. I#8: Know the s t u d e n t s p e r s o n a l l y . Go t o them and ask i f t h e y need h e l p . I#2: I wouldn't put t o o much p r e s s u r e on s t u d e n t s . S t u d e n t s s h o u l d have the f e e l i n g t h a t t h e y a r e s u c c e s s f u l . I#4: Put more r e s t r i c t i o n s , more homework, e x t r a work. I#24: E x p l a i n c a r e f u l l y and make s u r e s t u d e n t s u n d e r s t a n d . Give time t o copy n o t e s , not w h i l e e x p l a i n i n g . Accept good reasons f o r not d o i n g homework. ( E x p l a i n s t h a t she had f e l t u n f a i r l y p e n a l i z e d f o r a l a t e assignment when she had been i l l . Because of her p a r t - t i m e j o b she had been unable t o remain a f t e r s c h o o l t o e x p l a i n t o the t e a c h e r t h a t her i l l n e s s was the r e a s o n f o r the l a t e a s s i g n m e n t . Summary Here an attempt has been made t o a s s e s s s t r a t e g i e s employed by the i n f o r m a n t s which may be r e l e v a n t t o t h e i r academic s u c c e s s . Use of L l was found t o be n e c e s s a r y f o r - 78 -many of the informants, and i n v a r y i n g degrees. Help through L2 was u s u a l l y sought from teachers -- mainly t h e i r course teachers — r a t h e r than n a t i v e speaking peers. Some informants f e l t more comfortable a s k i n g t h e i r ESL teacher f o r he l p . Only one of the informants mentioned seeking help from a n a t i v e speaking student. F r i e n d s were considered to be important f o r s c h o o l success, but mainly important f o r a f f e c t i v e reasons such as moral support. I t i s obvious t h a t most informants f i n d homework necessary f o r success i n s c h o o l . Depending upon assignments, some w i l l spend up to seven hours i n one n i g h t t o accomplish t h e i r s c h o o l t a s k s . When o u t l i n i n g t h e i r views on the e f f e c t s of former s c h o o l experiences i t i s apparent t h a t they were used to longer s c h o o l hours and harder work i n t h e i r home c o u n t r i e s , so d i d not f i n d i t unusual to spend a l o t of time a t t h e i r homework. I t i s apparent t h a t , l i k e other "independent s e l f - d i r e c t i n g s t u d e n t s " they have l i t t l e unscheduled time. In l o o k i n g a t t h e i r hours of work and homework i t i s apparent that some are paying a high p r i c e f o r t h e i r measure of academic suc c e s s . In one case an informant appears to be s u f f e r i n g symptoms of s t r e s s which might b e n e f i t from p r o f e s s i o n a l c o u n s e l i n g . I t was obvious d u r i n g the in t e r v i e w s t h a t c e r t a i n informants are under i n o r d i n a t e pressure to succeed at sc h o o l i n a d d i t i o n to h o l d i n g an ou t s i d e job to pr o v i d e , i n some s i t u a t i o n s , necessary f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e f o r t h e i r f a m i l i e s . - 79 -E: Home E f f e c t On Schooling Having a r r i v e d a f t e r ten years of age, the informants f o r t h i s study had a l r e a d y attended s c h o o l i n t h e i r n a t i v e country f o r a number of y e a r s . In Cummins' terms they would a l r e a d y have developed a degree of CALP, a "common u n d e r l y i n g p r o f i c i e n c y " which i s t r a n s f e r a b l e to L2. A t t i t u d e s toward sc h o o l and l e a r n i n g would a l r e a d y have been s u b s t a n t i a l l y formed. Discussed above are the mo t i v a t i o n s f o r the f a m i l y to have moved to Canada. The parents i n most cases were seeking g r e a t e r f u t u r e o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r t h e i r sons or daughters. Here we w i l l e xplore the parents' concerns about t h e i r c h i l d r e n s ' e d u c a t i o n , about Canadian s c h o o l s , and the extent of t h e i r own d i r e c t involvement i n the s c h o o l s . The informants' p e r c e p t i o n s of those aspects of t h e i r home l i f e t h a t might r e l a t e to academic success w i l l a l s o be presented. In t : What do your parents f e e l about education? I#l : E d ucation i s the main t h i n g i n your l i f e . Without an edu c a t i o n you are nothing. I#3: They are happy that I'm g e t t i n g a good e d u c a t i o n . I t i s important t o them t h a t I co n t i n u e . I#9: They think i t ' s important and t h a t ' s the reason f o r coming her<e (to Canada). I#22: They f e e l the same way I do, th a t without an edu c a t i o n you're a nobody. I#20: They f e e l s t r o n g l y about the importance of an ed u c a t i o n . They r e a l l y want me to go to post-secondary e d u c a t i o n even i f I don't want t o . - 80 -Above (see Table I I , p41) i s a comparison of p a r e n t a l e x p e c t a t i o n s f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n with those of the informants themselves. In most cases parents wished t h e i r c h i l d r e n to complete post-secondary e d u c a t i o n , though few had chosen a s p e c i f i c p r o f e s s i o n . The usual message appears to be, "Go on to u n i v e r s i t y , but make your own c h o i c e about what to study." I n t : What f u t u r e plans do your parents have f o r you? I#8: Go i n t o post-graduate t r a i n i n g and be something b i g l i k e a s c i e n t i s t . That's my i n t e r e s t and my parents are happy with 'ehis a l s o . I#24: Go to u n i v e r s i t y and get a good job i f t h a t ' s what I choose. Otherwise f i n d a job i t you can't do i t . I don't get pressure (from parents) but l o t s of encouragement. I#25: They wanted me to become a d o c t o r , but accepted my choice to be a c h a r t e r e d accountant. They accept my c h o i c e as long as I go to u n i v e r s i t y . I#17: They want me to go to u n i v e r s i t y , but to decide f o r myself what I want to do. I#21: I t o l d them I would be a w r i t e r and go back to Korea. They j u s t agreed with me. I#13: In my f a m i l y we p l a n our own f u t u r e . My parents a l l o w us to make our own d e c i s i o n s . I#20: My f a t h e r wants me to be a lawyer, but i n the end would say "Do what you want to do". I t h i n k the reason i s t h a t lawyers earn a l o t of money. I t ' s not too hard a job, a l o t e a s i e r than j a n i t o r or landscape work. I#22: They t o l d me i t ' s my l i f e . I f I make a mistake I can't go back and say "You t o l d me to do t h i s . I t ' s a l l your f a u l t . " I should be my own man. Take my own r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . I n t : How do your parents help you i n your s c h o o l work? I#11: My mother wants me to become a d o c t o r . She doesn't a l l o w me to do any housework, so t h a t I have more time to study. I#25: T h e i r a t t i t u d e has i n s t i l l e d i n me the d e s i r e f o r s u c c e s s . - 81 -I&21: They don't f o r c e me to study. I think i t ' s r e a l l y g r e a t . L o t s of students get too much pressure from parents and my parents don't do t h a t . When I f e e l f r e e I can do the t h i n g s I want. I#24: My parents have confidence t h a t I ' l l do my work. They don't help with the a c t u a l work. Sometimes they give p r i z e s f o r success, but when I do bad they j u s t encourage me f o r next time. I#16: They l e t me know t h a t i f I f a i l I can t r y aga i n . I t ' s not a b i g d e a l . I#4: My parents don't help d i r e c t l y , but are encouraging about s c h o o l . I#15: They don't know t h a t much E n g l i s h . But sometimes i f I need to write a s t o r y my f a t h e r t e l l s a s t o r y i n P e r s i a n and I t r a n s l a t e i t i n t o E n g l i s h . In many of the above responses there i s a sense of the parents empowering t h e i r c h i l d r e n , p r o v i d i n g them with s t r o n g values and support while a l l o w i n g them to make r e a l d e c i s i o n s about t h e i r own f u t u r e s . While many of the informants mentioned " i n d i r e c t " h e l p , i . e . moral support and encouragement, eleven i n t e r p r e t e d t h i s q u e s t i o n t o mean d i r e c t h elp with assignments or homework. These eleven r e p o r t e d that they get no help from parents because t h e i r parents are uneducated and/or do not tspeak E n g l i s h . The parents have very l i t t l e d i r e c t c o n t a c t with the teachers and sc h o o l s attended by t h e i r sons and daughters, yet f o r mainstream students parent / teacher i n t e r a c t i o n i s g e n e r a l l y p e r c e i v e d as being d e s i r a b l e to promote suc c e s s . In t : Do your parents meet with your teachers? When? - 82 -I#8: In grade s i x , but not s i n c e then. They're busy and not worried about me i n s c h o o l . They know I'm doing w e l l . I#2: My guardians have not, but my c o u s i n v i s i t e d . My guardians don't even r e a l i z e t h a t I'm doing w e l l . They th i n k i t ' s important t h a t I go to s c h o o l , but otherwise they don't have any c o n t a c t . I # l : They've v i s i t e d a few times. They l i k e i t . My brother would come (to v i s i t t e achers) i f there were problems. I#10: No, they don't have time f o r t h a t . They both work. They know th a t I'm t r y i n g my hardest and t h a t ' s a l l anyone can do. I#25: No, because of the language problem. They are c o n f i d e n t that I am doing f i n e . I#15: My parents have met t e a c h e r s , but not at s c h o o l . My mother i n v i t e d the ESL teacher to come to our house. She l i k e d the teacher very much. I#23: My brother l i v e s with my f a t h e r , and he came one year ago. I doubt t h a t my f a t h e r ever had c o n t a c t with the s c h o o l . I#16: My f a t h e r has to go f o r d i a l y s i s every Thursday. U s u a l l y teacher n i g h t s are on Thursdays. I#17: My s i s t e r s and broth e r s (and I) look a t each o t h e r s ' r e p o r t cards and encourage each other. My parents don't go to Parents Night. I#20: My f a t h e r v i s i t e d the s c h o o l c o u n s e l l o r f o r post-secondary e d u c a t i o n p l a n n i n g . I was r e a l l y worried and d i d n ' t want him to meet the t e a c h e r . But you know I t h i n k i t showed me th a t he r e a l l y cared about my educ a t i o n . I#13: My o l d e s t s i s t e r came to the s c h o o l l a s t year. When asked what t h e i r parents l i k e or d i s l i k e about Canadian s c h o o l s , f i v e parents were r e p o r t e d to g e n e r a l l y l i k e Canadian s c h o o l s , e i g h t as d i s l i k i n g some a s p e c t s , seven i n d i c a t e d both l i k e s and d i s l i k e s and f i v e o f f e r e d no comments. I#15: They l i k e i t , but they don't l i k e too much freedom which i s here i n the s c h o o l s . They don't l i k e the mix of boys and g i r l s . - 83 -I#5: They l i k e i t because teachers are not too s t r i c t . But they t h i n k s c h o o l days should be longer and (school i n s e s s i o n ) s i x days. I#13: They don't know much about Canadian s c h o o l s . They probably have no comment at a l l . I#8: In Canadian schools you can have your own idea and express more. Sometimes teachers are not s t r i c t enough and don't give enough d i s c i p l i n e , too much freedom. I#2: They wouldn't want programs such as sex e d u c a t i o n . (But---*he student f e e l s t h a t such programs are necessary.) I # l : They l i k e i t . Soccer f i e l d s are b i g g e r . They l i k e the aspect t h a t i t ' s easy to change from one s u b j e c t to another one. I can't think of anything they would l i k e to change. I#23: My mother has never been here. My f a t h e r d i s l i k e s the way teachers are t r e a t e d by s t u d e n t s . Here a student can t e l l a teacher where to go and nothing happens — the student i s j u s t kicked out of c l a s s . In Colombia the student would be suspended and the parents would have to come to s c h o o l . I#24: They don't l i k e the idea of having b o y f r i e n d s and d a t i n g . In Vietnam students do not p a i r o f f . They wish students would keep the s c h o o l c l e a n and t h a t they were more p o l i t e . I#16: They t h i n k Canadian students are too f r e e and they ( h i s parents) have s t e r e o t y p i n g of people who don't study or who smoke as being bad. But I t h i n k i t ' s because people have had d i f f e r e n t c h o i c e s . I#25: You are t r a i n i n g with Caucasians. You should a c t a c c o r d i n g to your c u l t u r e , not t r y to i m i t a t e Caucasian c u l t u r e . They t h i n k there are b e t t e r programs i n the U.S. where there are more p r e s t i g i o u s u n i v e r s i t i e s . A l s o i t ' s s o f t e r here than i n China where s c h o o l i s s i x days a week, so, "Do b e t t e r " . Summary Education appears to be p e r c e i v e d by the parents as the cornerstone f o r b u i l d i n g a secure and s u c c e s s f u l f u t u r e — a p e r c e p t i o n shared by the informants. I t a l s o appears t h a t , having i n s t i l l e d such values i n t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n , they (the - 84 -parents) a l l o w t h e i r c h i l d r e n a degree of p e r s o n a l choice and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e i r f u t u r e p l a n s . They appear to have confidence i n t h e i r c h i l d r e n s ' a b i l i t i e s to succeed. The students appear to accept t h a t t h e i r parents are pleased and c o n f i d e n t with t h e i r s chool performance, and do not r e q u i r e t h a t they become i n v o l v e d i n s c h o o l v i s i t s , e t c . However, the account of the informant who o r i g i n a l l y was not comfortable about h i s f a t h e r ' s v i s i t to the s c h o o l , but was nonetheless pleased at the outcome because i t showed him t h a t h i s f a t h e r r e a l l y cared about h i s f u t u r e , r a i s e s the q u e s t i o n ^ o f whether such i n t e r a c t i o n might not p r o f i t a b l y be encouraged more. While Vancouver School Board p o l i c y allows f o r i n t e r p r e t e r s f o r p a r e n t a l i n t e r v i e w s when language i s a c o n s i d e r a t i o n , i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t the parents (at l e a s t those r e l e v a n t to t h i s study) are unaware of the o p p o r t u n i t y to inform and q u e s t i o n teachers about t h e i r concerns. Some parents have concerns about d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l values found i n Canadian s c h o o l s , i . e . coeducation, d a t i n g , e t c . T h i s c o u l d p l a c e c o n f l i c t upon the informants, who may agree with some of the Canadian ways and yet d e f e r to t h e i r p a r e n t s . From the informants responses i t i s n e v e r t h e l e s s c l e a r t h a t s t r o n g p a r e n t a l and f a m i l y t i e s provide a sense of belonging and support, though there are examples of home pr e s s u r e s , i . e . the mother working two s h i f t s i n a laundry to support her c h i l d r e n . Such s i t u a t i o n s would l i k e l y put a - 85 -great d e a l of pressure on students to succeed. I t may be t h a t l a c k i n g such support from t h e i r f a m i l i e s might cause many ESL students to f a i l or drop out of s c h o o l . Summary of Chapter IV T h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n of the data i s an attempt to i l l u m i n a t e the l i v e s of ESL students w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r b i l i n g u a l e d u c a t i o n a l framework with the purpose of a l l o w i n g teachers a c l e a r e r understanding of what i s i n v o l v e d i n t h e i r p u r s u i t of academic suc c e s s . In Chapter I I I a d i s t i n c t i o n was made between q u a n t i t a t i v e and q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h . A q u a n t i t a t i v e approach, f o r example, might seek to prove c a u s e - e f f e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Here no such claims can be made. While examining a number of i s s u e s , i . e . p a r e n t a l involvement with the s c h o o l s , use of L l and L2 f o r meaningful i n p u t , amount of homework, a d d i t i v e b i l i n g u a l i s m , e t c . , no c l a i m can be made th a t one or the other i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the informants' academic suc c e s s . We have i d e n t i f i e d d i f f i c u l t i e s faced by ESL students, r e a l i z i n g t h a t these are many of the same d i f f i c u l t i e s as mainstream students, i . e . nervousness about o r a l work i n the classroom or understanding d i f f i c u l t and a b s t r a c t concepts. Though no "proof" can be presented t h a t d i f f i c u l t i e s are exacerbated because of t h e i r ESL nature I b e l i e v e t h a t the data i n d i c a t e s the informants' r e a l f e a r s . In c o l l e c t i n g data n e i t h e r has there been any attempt to examine and compare the success of these informants with f a i l u r e of other ESL s t u d e n t s . Here the informants have expressed t h e i r - 86 -experiences and a s p i r a t i o n s i n the hope t h a t they w i l l provide i n s i g h t s f o r i n s t r u c t i o n and f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h . These i s s u e s w i l l be d i s c u s s e d f u r t h e r i n Chapter V. - 87 -Chapter Five CONCLUSION In this chapter I will f i r s t attempt to address the c e n t r a l question for this study, i.e. what these twenty-five informants can t e l l us about th e i r experiences of success f u l l y getting their education in their L2, by comparing the. data with relevant issues which have previously arisen in the l i t e r a t u r e . Following this will be a general discussion on points which, to my knowledge, have not yet been touched upon in previous l i t e r a t u r e . Then I will address the question of what might be implications f o r instruction arising from the data, and possible areas f o r future research. A: Relevant Issues From the L i t e r a t u r e Returning to the t h e o r e t i c a l framework for our questions, discussed in Chapter 2, I will now look for p r a c t i c a l manifestations in the experience of the informants which appear to be related to academic success. The l i t e r a t u r e a l e r t s us to consider the following: 1. Use of L l for academic learning 2. Interaction with native speakers 3. Vocabulary as the language s k i l l most related to academic success 4. "Additive" qualities for assessing bilingual programs 5. Differences according to ethnic groups - 88 -I will discuss each in turn. 1. Use of L l For Academic Learning In this section I will f i r s t discuss the use of L l in the present school situation in the host country of Canada, followed by the informants' perceptions of how education in thei r native country might influence present academic success. In Canadian Schools Saville-Troike s t a t e s that what r e a l l y made a difference for academic success was the opportunity to discuss the concepts they were learning in the i r native language with other children or adults. She adds, We need t o recognize that there i s a qualitative difference between the communicative t a c t i c s and ski l l s that children find e f f e c t i v e f o r meeting th e i r s o c i a l needs and goals and those that are necessary for suc c e s s f u l academic achieve-ment in the classroom. The lowest academic achievers in our sample were among the most s u c c e s s f u l at interpersonal communication, especially with other children...The few students in our sample who could cope with independent in s t r u c t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s in regular classrooms possessed ski l l s that are not generally taught in ESL classes at the elementary school l e v e l but could be, such as how to make good use of a bilingual dictionary... Developing s o c i a l language ski l l s i s a desirable but insufficient goal for English teaching and (ironically) may even in t e r f e r e with academic achievement. (Saville-Troike 1984, 216) She argues that in teaching ESL we must forego the short term goal of teaching language for s o c i a l interaction only, emphasizing that academic competence should be the desired outcome i f we are to f u l f i l l our responsibilities t o our students and to j u s t i f y the time spent in ESL classrooms. - 89 -As with Sa ville-Troike's experience, and in what appears to support the BICS/CALP distinction raised by Cummins, the use of L l also proved to be important for many of the informants in this study, p a r t i c u l a r l y in the beginning of regular courses, in notetaking, independent study and getting help. As reported in Chapter IV, some mentioned the help of older siblings, ESL friends who had taken the course, an uncle or a parent. They also mentioned the practice of discussing homework, etc. at noon hours with friends from their native language group. As for written L l material, bilingual dictionaries proved helpful for some informants. Some used text and reference bobks from their native language, and others expressed that they would have used them i f they were available. I # 2 , a Vietnamese speaker here for two years, reported only recently finding some material about Canadian society, written in Vietnamese. He said i t was very helpful and f e l t that translations of Canadian h i s t o r y texts, etc. would also be u s e f u l to new a r r i v a l s , p a r t i c u l a r l y at the beginning of their time in regular classes. The most dramatic example of use of L l for academic learning c i t e d above, is that of I#7 whose uncle in China sent him Chinese language correspondence courses for Physics, Chemistry and Algebra. This student has been here for five years: for him use of L l for academic learning does not appear to be diminishing with time. However, he himself indicated that, though ef f e c t i v e , i t i s a time consuming - 90 -method. He s t a t e d that lack of time prevented his studying Chemistry in both Chinese and English, and this was r e f l e c t e d in his lower mark for Chemistry compared to that for Algebra and Physics (which he had studied using his "dual language" method.) His f i n a l mark for these three courses are B, A, A respectively. (At the same time he expressed the same concern raised*by Pavelich 19 78, to be discussed in further d e t a i l below, with his statement that English "will k i l l me at university".) The method of using L l to understand concepts was not in i t i a t e d as school s t r a t e g y (though i t might be). In response to th e i r need for meaningful input an uncle, father, older sibling and native language reference material, a l l resources outside school, were i n s t i n c t i v e l y sought out by the students themselves. In the Home Country If discussion of academic concepts in L l is important in the host country, then we might expect previous education experience in the home country to be important also, because i t provides individuals with the opportunity for discussing academic concepts in th e i r L l and would be expected to make a major contribution to the underlying proficiency (CALP) described by Cummins (1984, 136). Several of the informants (who a l l arr i v e d l a t e r than ten years of age when they had had an opportunity to develop - 91 -CALP in Ll) equate their success in Math and Sciences with e a r l i e r scholastic experiences in the i r native countries. What appears to have happened in s e v e r a l instances i s that Math and some Sciences were previously learned in the home country, and therefore the abstract concepts in the present Canadian context offered l i t t l e challenge. It was only l e f t to the students to find the L2 labels to apply to the concepts. To paraphrase Cummins (see p.13 above) i f you already know the concept in L l , then substituting a new label for i t in L2 is a simpler process than having to learn both the concept and label through L2. In certain cases the informants here are saying that Math, already learned before coming here, may even be a bit boring. I#5: Math is my l e a s t favourite subject because it's too easy. I already learned i t in my country. I#6: Math and Science in my native country helped prepare me f o r here. It i s obvious that the informants brought from their native countries other important educational tools besides academic proficiency already learned in ce r t a i n subjects. These include the discipline to study long hours to succeed, and will be discussed in Part II, Section B. What they could not bring and must take the time to internalize here i f they are to broaden education horizons, i s the fluency to enable them to meet requirements in other, i.e. humanities courses. (This issue will be discussed in Part II, Section C.) - 92 -2. Interaction With Native Speakers Saville-Troike's observation that developing s o c i a l language skills* 1 may even in t e r f e r e with academic achievement appears to be borne out in the data for this study. Perhaps the highest achiever is I#7, who won a provincial Math competition and the top Physics prize for his graduating cl a s s , was also was the most unequivocal about the lack of importance of friends for academic success. I#7: For some smart people they can do both (have friends and achieve high marks). But for me friends d i s t r a c t . I will go out with friends when I grow up. While the informants for this study appeared to display competent s o c i a l s k i l l s , many did not appear to seek maximum exposure to L2, and overwhelmingly academic success appears to have had p r i o r i t y over s o c i a l and le i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s . Most reported studying alone, maintaining busy schedules of homework, and many also worked at a part-time job, leaving l i t t l e time f o r socializing. When they do seek out interaction with native speakers i t is most often to their teachers for help with their courses. It does not appear that their native speaking peers occupy a major role in t h e i r l i v e s . Where s o c i a l and a f f e c t i v e f a c t o r s are considered as desirable, informants of f e r reasons that are unrelated to academic success. I#16, who wished for more interaction between ESL and native speaking students is referring to friends f o r other than academic reasons: - 93 -Int: If you could make changes in the running of the school, or in the way your classes are presented, what would you like to change? I#16: I would like to have ESL students associate more with other students, enjoy doing things (together) with a group. Have people who have been to ESL classes and regular c l a s s e s do a c t i v i t i e s together and help new ESL students. I engoyed tutoring other ESL students, and games like volleyball. But doing i t casually i s better. I&16, in wishing more interaction with native speaking students, i s in contrast with many of the informants who expressed surprise and dislike for what they perceived as the lack of respect shown by the i r native speaking counterparts. They, themselves, defer to their parents and teachers rather than identifying with Canadian born students. 3. Vocabulary as the Language Skill Most Related to Academic  Success Vocabulary learning is ci t e d as an expressed need by se v e r a l informants, again appearing to confirm the findings of Saville-Troike (1984), who advocates more emphasis on vocabulary learning and le s s on conversation. The specialized vocabulary for academic subjects was identified by the informants for this study as one of the communication blocks in content courses. Idiomatic expressions, perceived by informants as more related to conversational needs, were not considered as a problem f o r academic situations except for the example of Huckleberry Finn which requires an understanding of English conversation as an academic subject. - 94 -This finding tends to confirm that the education model of concentrating on content in ESL classes i s a positive one for academic success. Informants appreciated the tr a n s i t i o n a l courses, designed for this purpose, and the ongoing tutoring and support in English language centres. However, while accepting that vocabulary related t o content courses is likely more important to the informants than, for example, the past tense or some other grammatical focus, i t is possible that vocabulary content might be chosen by the informants as most helpful because this i s a learning a c t i v i t y common in ESL support classes. Had there been emphasis on other aspects, i.e. training in study s k i l l s such as previewing and advance organizers, finding the main idea, etc., informants may have made other choices. 4. "Additive" Qualities for Assessing Bilingual Programs Theoretical concerns for "additive" bilingualism as a c r i t e r i o n for success in bilingual programs has been discussed in Chapter II. In addition, i t i s compelling to compare "then" and "now" when faced with evidence of past education policies directed against minority students (Ashworth 1979). While bilingualism (the conscious attempt to preserve and nurture the L l of the student while L2 is added) may not be a specific academic objective in monolingual immersion programs, the model for the informants for this study, the present data, nontheless, indicates an encouraging change in - 95 -the school environment from the days when ethnic minority students were not allowed to speak their native languages at school, suffering policies which were at worst r a c i s t , at best an ethnocentric belief that use of the native language would diminish students' progress in English. The fact that our present day informants readily report speaking t h e i r L l both at home and at school, and that they used L l textbooks, etc., is an indication of positive changes which have occurred in pedagogical practices. That a l l informants appear to be maintaining t h e i r f i r s t languages indicates that L l use (and therefore recognition of the importance of "additive bilingualism") is at l e a s t no longer o f f i c i a l l y discouraged in our society. I believe such acceptance likely to be a strong a f f e c t i v e reinforcement f o r the students. However, there was l i t t l e awareness on the part of the informants of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism which are based in theory and research. Some " o f f i c i a l " recognition of their bilingualism might serve to make them more cognitive of t h e i r remarkable accomplishments. The "double standard" (see p.9 above) comes to mind. Surely native speaking students who had become as fluent in a target language as these ESL informants, would receive a great deal of credit and positive feedback. This s t r a t e g y is obviously not one with which these informants are familiar. Some informants' indicated that there is s t i l l a lack of acceptance by some English Canadians who resent people who - 96 -don't speak English. Also there is the ov e r a l l fear of speaking out in cla s s , p a r t i c u l a r l y at the i n i t i a l stages of introduction into regular classes. So there remains some "unofficial" lack of acceptance. Also, when examining the ESL experience we will see that there are some inequities. For some time European languages have been recognized for study and credit in Canadian secondary schools as a subject for credit. The three Spanish speakers are able to benefit from their L l to the extent that Spanish i s a subject which can be taken for credit. They can enroll in Spanish for an easy credit. This year Mandarin and Japanese have been introduced in school d i s t r i c t s taking part in the Pacific Rim i n i t i a t i v e s program.7. However this option i s so f a r unavailable to those in the other language groups. If bilingualism is t r u l y an accepted educational objective (as i t appears to be for French Immersion, for example) then a l l bilingual students should deserve credit towards high school graduation based upon their knowledge of their native language. It would cost nothing to implement such a policy, which would serve to acknowledge the achievement of bilingualism for ESL learners as with native speakers, and would demonstrate positive acceptance of minority languages. P r a c t i c a l l y i t could also free up a block of course time for improvement of English sk i l l s in a non-credit (since credit is deserved for their knowledge of Ll), and therefore non-threatening, program. Students would, of course, have to demonstrate mastery of their L l , both spoken and written. For example they might be asked to write in L l a major essay on a suitable topic. Native speakers of these languages could mark them to assure a standard comparable to that attained by students in French Immersion programs. 5. Differences According £o Ethnic Group With the i n i t i a l selection of informants the intention was to achieve a balance of many fa c t o r s , including home and ethnic background. What we ended with is an overrepresent ation of Asian students. There may be at l e a s t two reasons to explain this imbalance. F i r s t there is a higher percentage of Asian speaking students in Vancouver than other groups such as Afghani and Hindi. Secondly as touched upon in Chapter II, Asian students are s t a t i s t i c a l l y shown to be more academically successful than other groups regardless of SES (see p22 above). It appears that this i s borne out in this study. There was no attempt to c o n t r o l for SES, and i t i s apparent from Table II (p41) that there is a wide range as indicated in parents' education and work in their home country. While i t is beyond the scope of this study to c l o s e l y examine the issue of ethnic differences, i t is nonetheless interesting t o note contrasts which emerged in the data. For example, comparing L#7, the Chinese student who a t t r i b u t e s his success in Math and Chemistry to his correspondence courses in Chinese, with I#22, the Italian - 98 -speaker who spent a great deal of time getting help and information from his Geography teacher, serves to i l l u s t r a t e that whatever we think we know as teachers we must not forget t o take into account individual differences. I#7 and 1822 are both bound for success, but a different kind of success. I#22, who plans to become a r e a l estate agent, "enjoys talking to a person" and Itt7 will wait u n t i l he i s finished school before he has much time for friends. His career plan is to become an e l e c t r i c a l engineer, training through the Canadian armed forces. In t h i s kind of exercise there is a fear of promoting stereotypes of the "disciplined Asian" and the "affable Italian", and therefore prompts one to look for individual differences within ethnic groups. Another Mandarin speaker, though from Taiwan instead of People's Republic of China (the country of origin of I#7) who plans to study computer science at UBC, was c i t e d e a r l i e r for his exceptional i n t e r e s t in making a v a r i e t y of friends, for his f l e x i b i l i t y in seeking to understand native speaking students, and for his suggestion for more contact between ESL and native speaking students. He appeared interested in gaining more background on c u l t u r a l matters, i.e. to understand why there are so many str i k e s in Canada. He i l l u s t r a t e d that he also enjoys getting to know and to know about people. I#13, a Cantonese speaker from Hong Kong who found Math to be her most d i f f i c u l t subject remarked, "People always - 99 -think i f you are Chinese you are good at Math." Such differences may relate to circumstance or background more than some inherent a f f i n i t y for certain subjects attributable to ethnicity. If they remained in their native countries other i n t e r e s t s and a b i l i t i e s might emerge — surely they do not a l l become Math or Computer wizards. They obviously have narrower options in Canada where humanities subjects with heavy language requirements and an unfamiliar background of experience are intimidating. The Italian and Spanish speakers share more of the same world view and l i t e r a r y traditions of native speakers of English than those of Asian cultures, as well as a similar alphabet. It is not surprising that the Asian students in part i c u l a r grasp at math related subjects where they f e e l they have a chance at academic success and were the ones most likely to r e l y on L l for "comprehensible input". Summary of Relevant Issues Arising From the L i t e r a t u r e It would appear that f o r some informants the use of L l is e s s e n t i a l to their success in regular classes, though others did not express this need, citing that they believe i t would be an inefficient method. Such differences highlight the, need for educators to look at students as individuals. Where informants sought "comprehensible input" in L2, the teacher rather than a native speaking student was most often approached. Also, informants confirmed the importance of dealing with course related vocabulary v i s - a - v i s conversation. - 100 -Also, while there i s s t i l l evidence of the "double standard" of minority language bilingualism and majority language bilingualism, i.e. l i t t l e self-recognition or recognition by the majority culture of the achievements of the informants, there has been a positive s h i f t in acceptance of minority languages in the society (as exemplified by the informants freedom to speak i t at school, etc.) Recognition should go beyond neutral acceptance, however, i f we are to avoid this double standard. Finally, an attempt to look at differences according to ethnic origin attempted to explain the overrepresentation of Asian students compared with other language groups in this category of academically s u c c e s s f u l students. B: Other Issues Arising From the Data In this part issues which do not appear to be formally raised in previous l i t e r a t u r e will be discussed, including possible influences from e a r l i e r education in the home country, which include both parental and s o c i e t a l expectations; discipline and time required for ESL to achieve academic success; and a second look at academic "success". Each will be discussed in turn. 1. Education in the Home Country The aspect of e a r l i e r academic learning in the home country, i.e. Math, which give such students an advantage in this subject in Canadian schools, has been discussed above. - 101 -In addition there is the disciplinary aspect, the work habits and attitude towards school which informants have developed early in t h e i r school l i f e and bring with them to Canada. I#2: The rules in my country are s t r i c t and I used to have harsh t e s t s . Here i t is easier so I don't have problems. I#13: The way of the culture and the school regulations are r e a l l y tough (in Hong Kong). It was too s t r i c t . I learned to work harder, so here i t is automatic to complete assign-ments on time and other things. I#7: You have to do more in my native country. I got used to working r e a l l y hard. I#22: Schools in Italy required more homework. In Grade 7 ^ I was studying four hours a day. Here I study three hours a day. And there you go to school on Saturday. Here you get extra time on the weekends to study. I#25: My attitude toward school. E a r l i e r discipline and longer hours help me in Canada. I am used to using extra time f o r school work. In Chapter Four a discussion of informants' adjustment to Canadian schools related how students who are obviously used to different kinds of schools adjust to doing school in Canada. It was suggested that while much of the harsher discipline of e a r l i e r days has now been replaced in Canadian schools by f r e e r and l e s s formal rules, there is s t i l l no short cut for self-discipline and hard work when the goal is for academic success. Most teachers would welcome such diligence and desire to learn in t h e i r students, both Canadian and foreign born. However, what appears to be lacking in the e a r l i e r experiences of the informants, and does therefore appear to - 102 -require adjustment, is an approach different from memorizing and problem solving. For example, many reported that they avoided participating in discussions. While this reticence could be at t r i b u t e d to language d i f f i c u l t i e s , there may also be c u l t u r a l differences. Most disliked integrative tasks such as essay type questions, preferring discrete type tasks (though this might well r e f l e c t the preferences of most Canadian born students also). Some appeared to have d i f f i c u l t y accepting that students are required to discipline themselves (rather than have this imposed by the teacher) and found i t d i f f i c u l t to work in a classroom where there was talking, etc. by other students. (Again these could well be problematic for Canadian born students as well.) In summary, the informants appear to have brought with them the valuable learning tools, discipline and desire to learn. These qualities are high p r i o r i t i e s within th e i r c u l t u r a l and home backgrounds, and serve them in good stead in the host country. 2. Discipline and Time to Achieve Academic Success It is fortunate that the informants appear to have an abundance of self-discipline to stick with the job, because what becomes apparent from their perceptions of their experience i s that i t takes an inordinate amount of time t o learn in a second language: I#13: Now (in Canada) I have to work double harder (sic). A Canadian student might study one hour. I have to study two hours just to finish i t up. - 103 -Of course the issue of time a r i s e s also in the l i t e r a t u r e . In Chapter II i t is c i t e d that i t takes from five to seven years or perhaps longer to achieve proficiency in L2 as required to master abstract concepts. However, these informants are not measuring their time in years, but in hours per day. In Table V (p7 6) the homework schedule of informants displays that some of these students study up to seven hours per day. Time and discipline appear to be e s s e n t i a l f o r keeping on track with their academic work. Lacking this time or discipline may place an ESL learner at too much of a disadvantage to be successful. 3. A Second Look at Academic "Success" Except for the use of f i r s t language to understand content, s t r a t e g i e s for homework and study which our informants reported may d i f f e r only in degree from Canadian born, high-achieving students. While they are likely under more pressure than native speaking students, like any good student they go for help when they don't understand, do their homework, review work continuously and prepare for exams. Such motivation and e f f o r t must be a major contributing f a c t o r toward their success. It i s worth noting, however, that in this study "success" i s circumscribed within c e r t a i n subjects, i.e. Math and Sciences, and for the most part excludes Social - 104 -Studies and L i t e r a t u r e . The informants, whose "academic success" is largely concentrated in Math and the Sciences, acknowledged as a problem th e i r lack of writing sk i l l s and background in the humanities subjects as well as in fundamental knowledge about Canadian culture and aspects of Canadian l i f e . In responding to the question of t h e i r favourite subject they mentioned as favourites Math and Science courses which they had learned i t in their own countries. Typical responses were as follows: I#17: I like Math because you don't need that much English, and most Science courses. I#2: Chemistry and Physics because I already learned them in my country. English is the l e a s t favourite because I only learned i t two years ago. I#25: Math, because I do well. Math was easier in the beginning, but Algebra 12 got harder. I can't read ahead so I won't be as good at i t (won't get as high a mark) as before. I#20: Sometimes i t gets hard i f they (the subject teachers) ask something about a Canadian c e l e b r i t y -- something you can't r e a l l y find in a book. I understand the English, but I don't understand what they're talking about. Section A above was a discussion of academic concepts the informants have brought with them as educational benefits. It is also important to note here what is lacking when they attempt to use L l for academic learning. For example, I#7 s t a t e d that "English will k i l l me at university". He continues to lack confidence in writing essay questions in t e s t s and assignments. Informants also mentioned a lack of background in western thought which - 105 -would enable them to understand l i t e r a r y r e f e r e n c e s and c u r r e n t t o p i c s grounded i n Canadian h i s t o r y . The m a j o r i t y of the informants, o r i e n t e d to achieve good marks, w i l l most l i k e l y be d i r e c t e d toward Sciences and Math when they go to u n i v e r s i t y , where they have the most chance f o r s u c c e s s . Ignoring humanities courses with heavy language requirements perpetuates the problem, as students then a v o i d the p r a c t i c e necessary f o r success and enjoyment of such s u b j e c t s . P a v e l i c h (1978) d i s c u s s e d a t e c h n i c a l w r i t i n g course introduced a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia when t h i s v e r y problem occurred with f o r e i g n students who were pe r c e i v e d by t h e i r Math and Science p r o f e s s o r s as model st u d e n t s . However, on completing t h e i r degrees i n Pharmaceutical Science they were r e f u s e d p r a c t i c i n g l i c e n s e s because of inadequate spoken E n g l i s h . T h i s l e d to the t e s t i n g and streaming of a l l f i r s t - y e a r students and the r e s u l t t h a t E n g l i s h 100 has become a two year course f o r 25% of the f i r s t year s t u d e n t s . While the students d e s c r i b e d by P a v e l i c h were f o r e i g n students who were re c e n t immigrants from Hong Kong and I n d i a , the s i t u a t i o n appears to f i t the informants f o r t h i s study a l s o , i n s p i t e of t h e i r having had a somewhat longer time immersed i n an E n g l i s h speaking environment. S a v i l l e - T r o i k e ' s (1984) c a u t i o n to c o n s i d e r the student's u l t i m a t e academic success i s a p p l i c a b l e here, - 106 -i f f o r many the humanities courses w i l l be avoided i n favour of Math and Science o r i e n t e d c a r e e r s . Without s o l i d grounding i n the language and c u l t u r a l context they may, l i k e those d e s c r i b e d by P a v e l i c h , have d i f f i c u l t y i n f u n c t i o n i n g adequately i n t h e i r f u t u r e work environment. In a d d i t i o n they are l i k e l y to pass over o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r study i n humanities s u b j e c t s . I t h i n k i t reasonable to assume t h a t some would pursue c a r e e r s i n the realms of l i t e r a t u r e , h i s t o r y or s o c i a l s c i e n c e s i f l e a r n i n g i n t h e i r L l , and, i f t h i s i s t r u e , t h e i r c h o i c e s have been c o n s i d e r a b l y narrowed because of t h e i r need to l e a r n i n a second language. As educators i t i s important to continue l o o k i n g f o r answers to a l l e v i a t e t h i s problem and to encourage i n t e r e s t e d students to pursue humanities s u b j e c t s . Summary of Issues Not Raised i n the L i t e r a t u r e T h i s d i s c u s s i o n of i s s u e s which have not been h i g h l i g h t e d i n previous t h e o r e t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n has i n c l u d e d d i s c i p l i n e and informants' e a r l i e r academic work (CALP i n L l ) order to a p p r e c i a t e more f u l l y the e f f e c t of home background which l i k e l y c o n t r i b u t e s to the informants' academic success i n Canadian s c h o o l s . The informants r e l y upon t h e i r s t r o n g backgrounds i n Math and Sciences learned i n t h e i r home c o u n t r i e s . In other s u b j e c t s not introduced i n t h e i r home country, i . e . E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e and h i s t o r y they are at a disadvantage. Numbers of hours spent i n homework - 107 -by some informants are e s p e c i a l l y h i g h . F i n a l l y , academic success was c o n s i d e r e d i n a wider context than t h a t of a c h i e v i n g a high mark i n a l i m i t e d range of s u b j e c t s , though t h i s i s not to undervalue the c o n s i d e r a b l e achievement of the Informants, but r a t h e r to i d e n t i f y an expressed d e f i c i t , and the d i f f i c u l t c o n s t r a i n t s i n g e t t i n g an education i n a language other than L l . c: implications For, instruction A r i s i n g From the Data In a d d i t i o n to the above mentioned d e s i r a b i l i t y to widen the ESL students' academic c h o i c e s , t h i s d i s c u s s i o n w i l l summarize i s s u e s a l r e a d y presented t h a t r e l a t e to the informants' views on ESL programs and on communication d i f f i c u l t i e s i n the r e g u l a r classroom. On both these t o p i c s informants r a i s e suggestions to meet I n s t r u c t i o n a l needs. T h i s w i l l be f o l lowed with d i s c u s s i o n r e g a r d i n g i n t e r a c t i o n between ESL and s u b j e c t area teachers and i n t e r a c t i o n between ESL and Canadian born s t u d e n t s . 1. A Role f o r ESL Support The f a c t t h a t ESL c l a s s e s had played a c e n t r a l r o l e was r e p o r t e d by a l l s t u d e n t s . Our informants have assessed what has been p o s i t i v e about ESL support c l a s s e s . What has appeared most h e l p f u l , i n a d d i t i o n to academic needs, i s the s u p p o r t i v e environment and o p p o r t u n i t y to make f r i e n d s with other immigrant students upon t h e i r f i r s t a r r i v a l . The l e s s t h r e a t e n i n g environment i n the s m a l l e r ESL c l a s s where - 108 -immigrant students are introduced to North American s c h o o l s and c u l t u r e , and l e a r n the fundamentals of the spoken and w r i t t e n language, appears to have been i n d i s p e n s a b l e to our informants. Needs which appear not to have been adequately addressed are f o r more o r a l and w r i t t e n p r a c t i c e , the o p p o r t u n i t y to l e a r n content and more vocabulary, and f o r more background i n t o Canadian h i s t o r y and c u l t u r e . Another need, which i t appears i s being met i n some cases, i s t h a t of ongoing t u t o r i n g a f t e r the student i s mainstreamed i n t o r e g u l a r c l a s s e s . ELC's and s p e c i a l t u t o r i n g s e s s i o n s before or a f t e r r e g u l a r c l a s s hours was a p p r e c i a t e d by those b e n e f i t t i n g from these programs. In t h i s monolingual immersion model of e d u c a t i o n , ESL c l a s s e s are c o n s i d e r e d by the informants to be necessary f o r academic success of s t u d e n t s . 2. Communication i n the Classroom S e v e r a l informants expressed t h a t i t would be h e l p f u l i f teachers would emphasize and repeat important p o i n t s . There was a concern a l s o about copying notes while the teacher i s t a l k i n g , and informants a p p r e c i a t e d those teachers who w r i t e notes and important p o i n t s on the board and a l l o w some c l a s s time f o r copying them. Als o informants had d i f f i c u l t y f o l l o w i n g i f the teacher spoke too q u i c k l y . I#22: At f i r s t i f I missed j u s t one word I c o u l d n ' t get the meaning. I t would be h e l p f u l i f teachers repeated important p o i n t s . - 109 -I t i s apparent that L l use i s important f o r some students' academic success, and teachers might encourage t h i s s t r a t e g y with s t u d e n t s . While such m a t e r i a l s are p r e s e n t l y a v a i l a b l e to some st u d e n t s , from the informants' responses i t would appear t h a t some b a s i c r e f e r e n c e m a t e r i a l i n the languages of the v a r i o u s e t h n i c groups, such as h i s t o r y , l i t e r a r y works, math and s c i e n c e t e x t s , would be u s e f u l a d d i t i o n s to sc h o o l l i b r a r i e s . A need f o r t u t o r s of d i f f e r e n t language groups was expressed by some of the informants, p a r t i c u l a r l y a t the beginning stages of mainstreaming i n t o academic c l a s s e s would appear to be h e l p f u l , p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r those students without an o l d e r s i b l i n g , parent or other r e l a t i v e who can a s s i s t them. F i n a l l y there appears to be a need f o r teachers to be aware of c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s , i . e . speaking out i n c l a s s was mentioned as a Canadian t r a i t , where i n China s i l e n c e shows r e s p e c t . Course teachers might a l s o empathize with ESL l e a r n e r s who are i n o r d i n a t e l y f e a r f u l of speaking out i n the l a r g e r classroom s e t t i n g . 3. Cooperation Between ESL and Subject Teachers Informants have suggested t h a t t r a n s i t i o n a l courses and ongoing e x t r a t u t o r i n g (given by ESL tea c h e r s ) f o r p r e p a r i n g course assignments are h e l p f u l . Such i n i t i a t i v e s would demand i n c r e a s i n g c o o p e r a t i o n between ESL and s u b j e c t t e a c h e r s . I t i s beyond the scope of t h i s study to d e t a i l what may be r e q u i r e d f o r the two s p e c i a l i s t s t o work - 110 -t o g e t h e r . In gen e r a l though, a needs assessment would be r e q u i r e d , and c o n s u l t a t i o n time made a v a i l a b l e . ESL teachers would be r e q u i r e d to know the types of assignments, and the o b j e c t i v e s of the content teacher. From i n f o r m a t i o n provided by the ESL teacher, the academic s p e c i a l i s t would come to a p p r e c i a t e some of the problems of i n d i v i d u a l ESL student s , such as t h e i r f e ar of speaking out i n t h e i r c l a s s e s and c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s a c c o r d i n g to student backgrounds. For example, teachers who give marks f o r c l a s s p a r t i c i p a t i o n might reassess t h i s p r a c t i c e and make some concessions about as k i n g q u e s t i o n s of ESL st u d e n t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y when they are f i r s t mainstreamed i n t o r e g u l a r c o u r s e s . T h i s i n t e r a c t i o n with content teachers i s w i t h i n the pe r c e i v e d r o l e of the ESL teacher, who sees h i s / h e r r o l e as advocate, and c u l t u r a l a r b i t e r f o r the ESL student. (Defoe 1988). There i s no apparent good reason f o r ESL students to be the onl y ones l e a r n i n g about a new c u l t u r e : t h i s would o p t i m a l l y be the case f o r teachers and n a t i v e speaking students a l s o . In a d d i t i o n , a t t e n t i o n should be pa i d to those g i f t e d t e a c h e r s , examples of whom were mentioned by the informants, who are able to e x p l a i n content m a s t e r f u l l y and i n s p i r e the students to delve deeper i n t o the s u b j e c t . For such c o o p e r a t i o n to be r e a l i z e d i t would be necessary to provide c o n s u l t a t i o n time f o r ESL and content - I l l -t e a c h e r s , as w e l l as i n s e r v i c e workshops and more emphasis and t r a i n i n g f o r c o o p e r a t i o n between r e g u l a r and resource teachers d u r i n g teacher t r a i n i n g programs. 4. I n t e r a c t i o n Between ESL and Native Speaking Students In Chapter One was a d i s c u s s i o n of Canada's a s p i r a t i o n s f o r a m u l t i c u l t u r a l s o c i e t y , a "mosaic". The d e s i r a b i l i t y f o r a member of an e t h n i c m i n o r i t y to maintain L l was expressed, understanding t h a t the l o s s of a language, " s u b t r a c t i v e b i l i n g u a l i s m " , i s both a t r a v e s t y and e d u c a t i o n a l f a i l u r e . But f o r a "mosaic" to p o r t r a y a s t r o n g and e f f e c t i v e message, each segment must c o n t r i b u t e to a u n i f i e d whole. For m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m to succeed we cannot s u b s t i t u t e the "two s o l i t u d e s " of French and E n g l i s h with e i g h t y or more s o l i t u d e s to r e p r e s e n t each i n d i v i d u a l e t h n i c m i n o r i t y . There must be e q u a l i t y of o p p o r t u n i t y and equal r e s p e c t f o r a l l language groups w i t h i n the framework of Canada's recognized m a j o r i t y languages of E n g l i s h and French for Canada's m u l t i c u l t u r a l s o c i e t y to f l o u r i s h . E q u a l i t y of o p p o r t u n i t y must f i n a l l y address the d e f i c i t of monolingual anglophones, who may enjoy m a j o r i t y s t a t u s w i t h i n Canada but who have m i n o r i t y s t a t u s i n the l a r g e r world where most people are b i l i n g u a l or m u l t i l i n g u a l . Native speakers of E n g l i s h are c o n s i d e r e d to have been p r i v i l e g e d because of the widespread use of t h e i r language. But i f we remain monolingual when b i l i n g u a l i s m i s c o nsidered - 112 -a d e s i r a b l e e d u c a t i o n a l g o a l , then i t can be argued that monolingual anglophones are disadvantaged. I b e l i e v e t h a t a l l s t udents, ESL and anglophone, are e n t i t l e d to l e a r n other languages. O p p o r t u n i t i e s not a v a i l a b l e i n the past are i n our midst today. Native speakers of v a r i o u s languages are a v a i l a b l e t o be language teachers i n immersion programs throughout the s c h o o l s . Understanding of others becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y important given present emphasis on g l o b a l trade and i n t e r a c t i o n between peoples of many c o u n t r i e s . And as mentioned e a r l i e r , there appears to be a new awareness about the importance of b i l i n g u a l i s m w i t h i n Canada, emphasizing f l u e n c y i n both o f f i c i a l languages. We c o u l d extend and c a p i t a l i z e on t h i s enthusiasm by working to e s t a b l i s h o p p o r t u n i t i e s to l e a r n other languages. In Canada we p r i d e o u r s e l v e s on our communication technology. We c o u l d a l s o become l e a d e r s i n language t e a c h i n g . T h i s would put a new emphasis on " m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m " , an o f f i c i a l p o l i c y of which Canadians can be proud. D: Suggestions For F u r t h e r Research The informants are s a y i n g t h a t f o r them s t u d i e s are t a k i n g much longer than f o r n a t i v e speaking s t u d e n t s . T h i s p e r c e p t i o n might be looked a t i n more d e t a i l . Are there ways of h e l p i n g students get through t h e i r course m a t e r i a l more q u i c k l y ? - 113 -T h i s i s an a d d i t i o n to the r e s e a r c h p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t l i n k s language p r o f i c i e n c y to academic achievement, determined a t a general l e v e l by comparing language t e s t r e s u l t s to academic success. An a l t e r n a t i v e i s to examine the s p e c i f i c academic tasks which students must complete f o r a l e t t e r grade, and to look f o r a response to the i s s u e s r a i s e d . For example homework i s an issue -- the student's response i s to put i n longer hours. We need r e s e a r c h to t e l l us more about t h i s . What takes the time? Why? What student s t r a t e g i e s h elp or hinder? O'Malley et a l . (1985) concluded i n t h e i r r e s e a r c h that l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g i e s can be taught and improved, thereby making l e a r n i n g more e f f e c t i v e . Can i t a l s o make l e a r n i n g l e s s time-consuming? Another area f o r q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h i s to f i n d ways to e f f e c t a more i n t e g r a t i v e approach i n order t h a t students i n ESL c l a s s e s are focussed upon " r e a l t a s k s " , i . e . tasks r e l a t e d to content from the r e g u l a r c u r r i c u l u m . C e n t r a l to t h i s approach i s to f i n d ways of making a b s t r a c t concepts meaningful. In Vancouver s c h o o l s , with some e i g h t y d i f f e r e n t e t h n i c groups, i t i s u n r e a l i s t i c to expect t h a t b i l i n g u a l m i n o r i t y immersion programs are p o s s i b l e f o r a l l students of e t h n i c m i n o r i t y language groups. I t i s t h e r e f o r e important to determine s p e c i f i c ways f o r the p r e s e n t a t i o n of content c l a s s e s through the medium of the second language (along with the above sug g e s t i o n f o r L l input when r e q u i r e d ) . While educators ( f o r example Mohan 1986) provide a model, there are few s p e c i f i c examples f o r teachers to f o l l o w . - 114 -An a d d i t i o n a l r e s e a r c h t o p i c which might shed more l i g h t upon t h i s i ssue of academic success i s a comparison of students such as the informants f o r t h i s study with those who are u n s u c c e s s f u l and i n danger of dropping out. Other s t u d i e s c o u l d i d e n t i f y s t r a t e g i e s f o r s u c c e s s f u l i n t e r a c t i o n between ESL and s u b j e c t area t e a c h e r s , an area t h a t appears to be s a d l y neglected i n teacher t r a i n i n g c o urses. E: C l o s i n g Comments Chapter One b r i e f l y o u t l i n e d an h i s t o r i c p e r s p e c t i v e on b i l i n g u a l e d u c a t i o n i n Canada. This d i s c u s s i o n of s u c c e s s f u l academic students has remained w i t h i n the context of the "monolingual immersion" program as i t now e x i s t s i n Vancouver. An a l t e r n a t i v e program, i . e . the i n t r o d u c t i o n of h e r i t a g e language immersion programs where student numbers warrant such i n i t i a t i v e s deserves some c o n s i d e r a t i o n . In a d d i t i o n to probable c o g n i t i v e advantages of b i l i n g u a l i s m , Ashworth (1988) l i s t s as advantageous f o r immersion students i n t h i s e ducation model t h e i r not being at a l o s s f o r meaning, t h e r e f o r e e l i m i n a t i n g the need to mark time while g a i n i n g mastery over the second language. The disadvantages of such programs i n c l u d e the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t students w i l l not take s e r i o u s l y enough the task of l e a r n i n g the second language, and t h a t where there are a number of d i f f e r e n t languages spoken the programs would be c o s t l y and unwieldy to run. A l s o there i s the danger t h a t - 115 -i t may promote even more p r e j u d i c e where members of a v i s i b l e m i n o r i t y group are segregated f o r p a r t of each day. However, i t i s c l e a r t h a t there are now a number of p o t e n t i a l educators of e t h n i c m i n o r i t y background who c o u l d f i l l the necessary p o s i t i o n s as teachers and /or t u t o r s . A l s o there appears to be no good reason why anglophone students could not b e n e f i t by p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n such m i n o r i t y language immersion programs. Whatever the f u t u r e s c e n a r i o f o r b i l i n g u a l t e a c h i n g , i t appears t h a t teachers w i l l be e q u a l l y c h a l l e n g e d i n the years ahead. This e x e r c i s e of "asking the s t u d e n t s " has made me aware of the p o t e n t i a l to l e a r n from students i n "a c o n v e r s a t i o n with a purpose". In s o r t i n g through the data I came to recognize the informants as i n d i v i d u a l s , and to empathize with t h e i r l i v e s and problems. I h e a r t i l y recommend t h i s to o t h e r s . Even a s h o r t and i n f o r m a l study, conducted w i t h i n the classroom and encouraging students to evaluate s c h o o l programs, can preclude the a l l too f a m i l i a r s i t u a t i o n where the student i s the m i s s i n g component i n a s t r a t e g y p l a n . McColl (1976) has o f f e r e d a u s e f u l model f o r a panel d i s c u s s i o n t o a l l o w teachers and n a t i v e speaking students an o p p o r t u n i t y to empathize with some concerns of ESL s t u d e n t s . As with McColl's panel of students I t h i n k of the informants f o r t h i s study as " s u r v i v o r s " , w i l l i n g to t e l l - 116 -t h e i r s t o r y because they f e l t t h a t the o p p o r t u n i t y to share t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s and experiences h e l d some importance. I thank them a l l . I t r u s t t h a t I#2 expresses the sentiments of a l l t w e n t y - f i v e students who were i n v o l v e d when he s t a t e s : I t h i n k i t ' s a good o p p o r t u n i t y f o r me to help the program. To help the others who are coming a f t e r . - 117 -CHAPTER NOTES 1 Eight of the twenty-four informants for t h i s study were already bilingual or multilingual upon a r r i v a l , so for them English i s not a second, but a t h i r d or fourth language. But for our purposes throughout this discussion they are a l l identified as ESL learners, that i s , learners of English as a "second" language. 2 Vancouver School Board s t a t i s t i c s , published in The V a n e Q U y e r S u n , June 18, 1988. 3 Heritage language c l a s s e s include language c l a s s e s conducted outside regular school hours for children of ethnic minorities, as well as minority language bilingual immersion programs such as the Ukrainian Bilingual Program in Edmonton, Alberta. For a discussion of such programs see Cummins 1981, 1984. 4 Berger, Thomas R., "Toward the Regime of Tolerance", an address presented at the National Symposium on the Humanities r sponsored by Simon Fr a s e r University and the University of Western Ontario, at Holiday Inn Harbourside, Vancouver, B.C., Feb. 12, 1983. 5 For example see "Bilingual Boom: French Is Taking Off", The Vancouver Province r June 23, 1985. 6 Immersion programs in Japanese and Mandarin will be introduced in 15 school d i s t r i c t s by September 1989. This is expected to double to 30 school d i s t r i c t s within five years. See "Pacific Rim program catching on", The Vancouver Sun, June 21, 1988. 7 Ibid. There i s increasing i n t e r e s t in Asian languages in B r i t i s h Columbia schools. By 1989 Japanese and Mandarin immersion programs will be offered f o r grades 6 to 12, in school d i s t r i c t s taking part in the Pacific Rim Init i a t i v e s program. - 118 -SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Ashworth, Mary. 1975. Immigrant Children and Canadian Schools. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. . 1979. The Forces Which Shaped Them: A History of the Education of Minority Children in B r i t i s h Columbia. Vancouver: New Star Books. . 1988. Blessed With Bilingual Brains: Education of Immigrant Children With English as a  Second Language. University of B.C.: Pacific Educational Press. Burgess, Robert. 1984. In The Field: An Introduction to Field Research. London: Allan and Unwin. Collier, Virginia. 1987. Age and Rate of Acquisition of Second Language for Academic Purposes. TESOL Quarterly 21(4): 617-39. Cummins, Jim. 1979. Linguistic Interdependence and the Educational Development of Bilingual Children. Review of Educational Research 49 (2): 222-51. . 1980. Bilingualism and the ESL Student. TESL Talk 11: 8-12. . 1981. Age on A r r i v a l and Immigrant Second Language ' Learning in Canada: A Reassessment. Applied Linguistics 11(2): 132-49. . 1984. BiUngualism and Special Education; Issues in Assessment and Pedagogy. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Cummins, Jim and Me r r i l l Swain. 1986. Bilingualism in Education: Aspects of Theory. Research and Practice. London: Longman House. Day, Elaine and Stan Shapson. 1983. B.C. French Study, Executive Summary. Burnaby, B.C.: Simon F r a s e r University. Defoe, Tracy. 1986. English as a Second Language Teachers and Culture: An Interview Study of Role Perceptions. Master's Thesis: University of B.C. Edelsky C, S. Hudleston, B. Flores, F. Barking, B. Altwerger and K. J i l b e r t . 1983. Semilingualism and Language Deficit. Applied Linguistics 4 (1): 1-22. - 119 -Fishman, Joshua. 19 82. Whorfianism of the Third Kind: Ethno-linguistic D i v e r s i t y as a Worldwide Societal Asset. Language In Society 11(1): 1-14. Lambert, W.E. and G.R. Tucker. 1972. Bilingual Education of  Children: The St. Lambert Experiment. Rowley, Mass: Newbury House. Lewin, Miriam. 1979. Understanding Psychological Research:  The Student Researcher's Handbook New York: Wiley. Marshall, Jon and Alvin Sokol. 1969. General Educational C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Independent Students. Research Paper. McColl, Rod. 1976. The Survivors Are Heard From. TESL Talk 7 (4): 3-7. Mohan, Bernard. 19 81. Language, Content and the Interactive Principle. TESL Canada: Conference Proceedings, TEAL 19 81. . 1986. Language and Content. Reading, Mass.: Addis on-Wesley, Naiman, N., M. Frohlick, H.H. Stern, and A. Tadesco. 19 78. The Good Language Learner. Toronto, Ont.: Modern Language Centre, OISE. O'Malley, M., A. Chamot, G. Strewner-Manzanares, R. Russo, L. Kupper. 19 85. Learning Strategy Applications with Students of English as a Second Language. TESOL Quarterly 18(2): 557-86. Pavelich, Joan. 1978. Organizing Special Classes f o r Foreign Students in the Technical Writing Course. Technical Writing Teacher 5 (2): 55-58. Rubin, J. 1975. What the "Good Language Learner" Can Teach Us. TESOL Quarterly 9(1): 41-51 Sa ville-Troike, Muriel. 1984. What Really Matters in Second Language Learning for Academic Achievement? TESOL Quarterly 18(2): 199-219. Spradley, James. 1979. The Ethnographic Interview. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Swain, Merrill. 1981. Time and Timing in Bilingual Education. Language Learning 31(1): 1-15. and Sharon Lapkin. 1982. Evaluating Bilingual Education: A Canadian Case Study. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. - 120 -Wong-Fillmore, L i l y . 1979. i n d i v i d u a l D i f f e r e n c e s i n second Language A c q u i s i t i o n , i n Individual Differences In Language A b i l i t y and Language Behavior, ed. C. F i l l m o r e , D. Kempler and W.S.Y. Wang. 203-28. New York: Academic P r e s s . . 1983. The Language Learner as an I n d i v i d u a l : I m p l i c a t i o n s of Research on I n d i v i d u a l D i f f e r e n c e s f o r the ESL Teacher. In On TESOL '82. ed. M.A. C l a r k e and J . Handscombe. Washington, D.C: TESOL Y i n , Robert. 1984. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. B e v e r l e y H i l l s : Sage P u b l i c a t i o n s - 121 -APPENDIX A: ESL STUDENT QUESTIONAIRE I: Student Narrative T e l l the s t o r y of your education s t a r t i n g with your school in your home country. II: Student Perceptions A. Perceptions about Canada and Native Country 1. Why did you and your family move to Canada? 2. How did you f e e l then about moving? 3. How do you f e e l about living here now? 4. How do you compare Canada with your native country? 5. What do you like most about Canada? 6. What do you wish could be changed? 7. Do you plan t o go back someday t o live in your native country? 8. What are your plans f o r the future? B. Perceptions about Self as Student . 1 . You seem t o be a su c c e s s f u l student. What do you think are the reasons for your success in school? 2. What i s the purpose for getting an education? 3. What advice would you give a younger brother or s i s t e r t o help him or her succeed in school? 4. If you could make changes in the running of the school, or the way your c l a s s e s are presented, what would you like to change? 5. What should teachers do t o help students succeed? 6. How are schools here similar to or different from the school you attended in your native country? 7. Should Canadian schools be more like those in your native country. (Explain) - 122 -8. Are there any benefits t o learning another language? (Explain) 9. Have you taught any vocabulary from your native language to a native speaking friend or teacher? (Specify) iii: E;SL Expedience 1. When do you use English outside of school? (TV/radio/movies/conversation with family members and friends) 2. What do you read in English besides school assignments? (newspapers/magazines/novels/other) 3. How do you choose this material? 4. When and to whom do you speak your native language? (a) at home: always/only sometimes (specify) (b) at school: when/to whom 5. When do you read in your native language? (Specify how material chosen and types of reading, i.e. recreation/specific topics, etc.) 6. Do you go to native language movies? 7. How do/did you f e e l in your ESL classrooms? 8. How does/did ESL help you most in your subject c l a s s e s ? 9. Are ESL cla s s e s necessary f o r l a t e r success in school? 10. If you were the ESL teacher what would you change in order to help your students with their subject c l a s s e s ? 11. Was anything in your ESL c l a s s useless or unnecessary? IV: Content Classes 1. Which subjects do you enjoy most? Least? (Elici t reasons) 2. Which subjects are easiest? Why? 3. Which subjects are most d i f f i c u l t ? Why? - 123 -4. Is d i f f i c u l t y more often with the language or with understanding content? (Specify i f this i s different for different courses, I.e. Math vs. Social Studies) 5. What assignments have you had in your courses t h i s term? (oral/written) 6. How did you prepare for your o r a l assignments? 7. How did you prepare for the written assignments? 8. How do you prepare f o r exams? (Specify, i.e. study alone/with friend, memorize information, etc.) 9. Which type of exam questions do you find most d i f f i c u l t ? Easiest? 10. Do your course teachers give extra help to ESL speakers? (extra time to finish assignments? other?) 11. Is there anything that makes you f e e l uncomfort-able in any of your c l a s s e s ? 12. What d i f f i c u l t i e s do you have with content c l a s s e s ? 13. In le c t u r e s and class discussions do you get the meaning behind them? 14. What would help you understand meaning more easily? Should the teacher speak more slowly? Should the teacher speak louder? Should the teacher s t r e s s important words or ideas? Should the teacher repeat important points? Other? 15. Does the use of idiom or slang make i t d i f f i c u l t t o understand the speaker? (Give example) 16. Do you have communication problems in c l a s s ? What do you do? 17. Do you volunteer to answer questions and join in c l a s s discussions? 18. How do you f e e l about being asked when you have not volunteered to answer? Is i t the same for ESL cla s s ? - 124 -V: Student Strategies 1. When you have d i f f i c u l t y with your school work to whom do you go f o r help? 2. Do you use a dictionary? Monolingual? Bilingual? 3. Do you use reference books In your native language? 4. Do you study with a friend? (Specify when and with native speaker or ESL speaker) 5. Do you read about or discuss content being studied in your native language and then tran s l a t e into English? 6. When do you take notes in cl a s s ? In English or in native language? Why do you use this language? (speed/to improve command of the language) 7. Are friends important for school success? 8. Do you do homework? How much? When? 9. What school experiences from your native country have helped you here in Canada? 10. How have your st r a t e g i e s changed? What were they? What are they now? 11. What are important things to be succ e s s f u l in school? 12. If you were the teacher what would you change In order to help students learn better? VI: Home E f f e c t s on Schooling 1. How do your parents help you in your school work? 2. What do your parents f e e l about education? 3. What future plans do your parents have for you? 4. When do you f e e l r e a l l y happy at home? 5. What do your parents like or not like about Canadian schools? 6. Do your parents speak and use English? (outside the home/at home) 7. Do your parents meet with your teachers? When? - 125 -

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