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The English language skills of minority language children in French immersion programs : a follow-up… Cardwell, Jacqueline Ann 1989

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THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS OF MINORITY LANGUAGE CHILDREN IN FRENCH IMMERSION PROGRAMS: A FOLLOW-UP INVESTIGATION by JACQUELINE ANN CARDWELL B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1987 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF SCIENCE i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES School of Audiology and Speech Sciences We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 1989 (5) Jacqueline A. Cardwell, 1989 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 Vancouver, Canada Date Prober q, \<\<ft-DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT The purpose of t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n was t o re-evaluate the E n g l i s h language s k i l l s of a group of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n French Immersion programs (experimental group) i n order to e s t a b l i s h whether these s k i l l s have been maintained, are b e t t e r , or worse than the same s k i l l s i n E n g l i s h c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion (English c o n t r o l group) or m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n r e g u l a r E n g l i s h programs (minority c o n t r o l group). Of the o r i g i n a l t h i r t y c h i l d r e n who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n Davies' (1985) i n v e s t i g a t i o n , seven experimentals, seven m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s and nine E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s were l o c a t e d again and able to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the 198 9 follow-up study. E n g l i s h language comprehension was assessed using two standardized t e s t s of E n g l i s h comprehension (the Peabody P i c t u r e Vocabulary Test-R, and the Token Test f o r C h i l d r e n ) . S i m i l a r l y , E n g l i s h m e t a l i n g u i s t i c s k i l l s were evaluated using two standardized t e s t s which tap m e t a l i n g u i s t i c awareness at both the l e x i c a l and s t r u c t u r a l l e v e l (the Test of Language Competence and the Word Te s t ) . F i n a l l y , E n g l i s h language production was evaluated based on a p i c t u r e - d e s c r i p t i o n sample e l i c i t e d from each c h i l d . I t was hypothesized that the E n g l i s h language s k i l l s of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion would, as was the case i n 1985, continue to be as good as those of the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l and m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l groups. The r e s u l t s confirmed t h i s hypothesis. In a d d i t i o n , the r e s u l t s showed the experimental group to be performing s i g n i f i c a n t l y b e t t e r than the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l group on vocabulary comprehension and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of ambiguous iii sentences. The experimental group a l s o performed s i g n i f i c a n t l y b e t t e r than the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group on vocabulary comprehension. The E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group scored higher than the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l group on r e c o g n i t i o n of semantic a b s u r d i t i e s . A l l three groups performed s i m i l a r l y on the p i c t u r e d e s c r i p t i o n task. These r e s u l t s confirm that m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n are e x c e l l e n t candidates f o r French Immersion and s u f f e r no delays i n E n g l i s h language a b i l i t y over the long term. In f a c t , these c h i l d r e n d i s p l a y c e r t a i n l i n g u i s t i c advances over the other groups of c h i l d r e n i n t h i s study. 4 iv TABLE OF CONTENTS A b s t r a c t T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s L i s t o f T a b l e s L i s t o f F i g u r e s Acknow ledgements CHAPTER ONE. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND F r e n c h Immer s i on E d u c a t i o n i n Canada C o n d i t i o n s unde r w h i c h c h i l d r e n a c q u i r e new The need f o r l o n g - t e r m s t u d i e s Summary CHAPTER TWO. METHODS D e s i g n S u b j e c t s E x p e r i m e n t a l g roup M i n o r i t y C o n t r o l g roup E n g l i s h C o n t r o l g roup F r e n c h Immer s i on p rog rams P r o c e d u r e E n g l i s h Comprehens i on T e s t s Peabody P i c t u r e V o c a b u l a r y T e s t - R Token T e s t f o r C h i l d r e n Page i i i v v i v i v i i 1 8 l a nguage s 11 16 20 22 22 23 25 25 26 26 28 29 29 29 V T e s t o f M e t a l i n g u i s t i c A b i l i t y 30 T e s t o f Language Competence 30 The Word T e s t 31 E n g l i s h P r o d u c t i o n T e s t 31 Spon taneous Language Samples 31 A n a l y s i s 32 CHAPTER THREE. RESULTS 33 1. Peabody P i c t u r e V o c a b u l a r y T e s t - R 33 2. Token T e s t f o r C h i l d r e n 35 3 . T e s t o f Language Competence 39 4 . Word T e s t 39 5. Spon taneous Language Samples 42 CHAPTER FOUR. DISCUSSION 47 REFERENCES 54 vi L IST OF TABLES T a b l e Page T a b l e 1. D e s c r i p t i o n o f s u b j e c t s p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h e s t u d y 24 T a b l e 2. L i s t o f s c h o o l s f r om w h i c h s u b j e c t s were s e l e c t e d . 27 T a b l e 3 . Summary o f r e s u l t s f r om t he PPVT-R. 34 T a b l e 4 . Summary o f r e s u l t s f r om t h e Token T e s t . 37 T a b l e 5 . Summary o f r e s u l t s f r om t h e TLC . 40 T a b l e 6. Summary o f r e s u l t s f r om t he Word T e s t . 41 T a b l e 7. Mean f r e q u e n c y o f wo r d s , i n d e p e n d e n t c l a u s e s , words p e r i n d e p e n d e n t c l a u s e , e r r o r s p e r c l a u s e and t y p e / t o k e n r a t i o s 46 L I ST OF FIGURES F i g u r e page F i g u r e 1. P e r f o rmance on t h e PPVT-R i n 1985 and 1989 36 F i g u r e 2 . P e r f o rmance on t h e Token T e s t as a f u n c t i o n o f age 38 vii Acknowledgements I would like to express sincere thanks to my supervisor, Dr. Carolyn Johnson, for her support and guidance throughout this project. The cooperation of the schoolboards, the schools and their staff, as well as the children and their families was greatly appreciated. I thank my family and fellow classmates for their encouragement and emotional support. I am grateful for the assistance provided by Brian Radford on computer-related matters. I would also like to express my gratitude to Cathie, Heather & Marcel, and especially Dana & Brenda for their warm hospitality during my stay in Vancouver. Above all, I would like to thank my husband, Dr. Jim Cardwell, for his tremendous support throughout this thesis. This research was partially funded by a U.B.C. Humanities and Social Sciences Grant to Dr. Carolyn Johnson. This financial support was gready appreciated. 1 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Over the past two decades, there has been a surge of i n t e r e s t i n st u d i e s of French Immersion education. This stems p a r t i a l l y from the f a c t t h a t parents wish to know whether t h e i r c h i l d r e n stand to b e n e f i t from such programs, or whether French Immersion may have negative impact on t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s education (Carey 1985). Furthermore, i n e s t a b l i s h i n g French Immersion Programs, the M i n i s t r i e s of Education i n Canada have accepted r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r e v a l u a t i n g the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of these programs, and have thus encouraged and provided funding f o r stu d i e s of French Immersion. Much of the e a r l y research i n French Immersion concerned the success of French Immersion programs f o r m a j o r i t y language i . c h i l d r e n . Gradually, however, i n v e s t i g a t o r s have begun to question the appropriateness of French Immersion programs f o r c e r t a i n subgroups of c h i l d r e n . Do a l l c h i l d r e n stand t o b e n e f i t from French Immersion programs or are there some c h i l d r e n f o r whom such programs may be detrimental? As a r e s u l t , research has r e c e n t l y taken new d i r e c t i o n s to answer these more s p e c i f i c C h i l d r e n whose mother tongue i s the primary language spoken w i t h i n the community (and t h e r e f o r e has high s t a t u s , Skutnabb-Kangas 1981) . 2 questions. Target groups f o r these i n v e s t i g a t i o n s have i n c l u d e d c h i l d r e n who are e i t h e r academically, l i n g u i s t i c a l l y or c u l t u r a l l y disadvantaged (Genesee 1983). M i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n ^ c o n s t i t u t e one such group. In Western Canada, m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n are of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t because of a l a r g e immigrant p o p u l a t i o n . In an attempt to o f f e r equal educational o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o a l l Canadian c h i l d r e n , French Immersion programs have i n c l u d e d c h i l d r e n who come from m i n o r i t y language homes. A l a r g e number of research r e p o r t s have i n d i c a t e d t h a t m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n r e g u l a r E n g l i s h programs experience poor success i n school and, f u r t h e r , l o s e p r o f i c i e n c y i n t h e i r n a t i v e language (Anderson & Boyer 1978, Darcy 1963, Skutnabb-Kangas & Toukomaa 197 6, c i t e d i n Bruck 1982). A s s i s t i v e programs, such as ESL c l a s s e s , have been developed s o l e l y to cat e r to the needs of such c h i l d r e n . The f a c t that m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n are a high r i s k group f o r language/learning d i s a b i l i t i e s has l e d some i n v e s t i g a t o r s to suggest that a t h i r d language program such as French Immersion may f u r t h e r impede the chances of success f o r these c h i l d r e n (Genesee 1983). The present i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s a follow-up study of t h i s hypothesis. Davies (1985) measured the progress of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion programs r e l a t i v e t o the progress of these c h i l d r e n ' s peers i n monolingual E n g l i s h C h i l d r e n whose mother tongue i s one other than the m a j o r i t y language of the community (Davies 1985) . 3 programs. The author was i n t e r e s t e d i n the E n g l i s h language development of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion programs, since these c h i l d r e n l i v e i n an E n g l i s h language community and w i l l need t o become p r o f i c i e n t i n t h i s m a j o r i t y language. Davies in c l u d e d three groups of c h i l d r e n i n her i n v e s t i g a t i o n . The experimental group c o n s i s t e d of ten m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n from various language backgrounds e n r o l l e d i n French Immersion programs ("experimentals"). The f i r s t c o n t r o l group was composed of ten m a j o r i t y language c h i l d r e n ( i . e . English-speaking) e n r o l l e d i n French Immersion programs ("English c o n t r o l s " ) . The second c o n t r o l group i n c l u d e d ten mi n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n re g u l a r E n g l i s h programs ("minority c o n t r o l s " ) . These c h i l d r e n were a l l attending schools i n the lower mainland of B r i t i s h Columbia, and were i n grade one at the time of t e s t i n g . C r i t e r i a f o r s e l e c t i o n of c h i l d r e n f o r experimental and m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l groups r e q u i r e d that they come from homes where a language other than French or E n g l i s h be spoken at l e a s t s i x t y percent of the time p r i o r to the c h i l d ' s school entry. On the other hand, c h i l d r e n i n the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group came from homes where E n g l i s h was spoken. C h i l d r e n were matched as c l o s e l y as p o s s i b l e f o r age, sex and socio-economic s t a t u s . Comparisons of r e s u l t s on var i o u s measures of E n g l i s h language competence i n d i c a t e d t h a t the experimental group was performing s i m i l a r l y to the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group and, i n some instances, s i g n i f i c a n t l y b e t t e r than the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l group. 4 In t r y i n g t o account f o r the poor performance of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n r e g u l a r E n g l i s h programs, researchers working w i t h i n a ' s o c i o - p s y c h o l o g i c a l ' framework have proposed tha t a t t i t u d i n a l v a r i a b l e s may p r e d i c t success i n second language programs. Other i n v e s t i g a t o r s , working i n a p s y c h o l i n g u i s t i c framework, maintain that c o g n i t i v e and l i n g u i s t i c f a c t o r s determine success i n these programs (the reader i s r e f e r r e d t o Davies 1985, f o r a review of these models). In keeping w i t h the s o c i o - p s y c h o l o g i c a l model, Davies hypothesized t h a t , i f p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e s toward the n a t i v e language and c u l t u r e were maintained i n the home, m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n should experience success i n French Immersion programs wi t h no det r i m e n t a l e f f e c t s on the continued development of t h e i r E n g l i s h language s k i l l s . A t t i t u d i n a l q uestionnaires were given t o the experimental and m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l c h i l d r e n as w e l l as to t h e i r parents and teachers. On the b a s i s of responses t o these.quetionnaires, Davies determined th a t p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e s were expressed by both the experimental and m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l groups as w e l l as by t h e i r f a m i l i e s and teachers. These r e s u l t s make i t impossible to r e j e c t the s o c i o -p s y c h o l o g i c a l model. That i s , a group of c h i l d r e n whose n a t i v e language and c u l t u r e were not p o s i t i v e l y valued was not i s o l a t e d , and so no comparisons of E n g l i s h language competence to t h i s h y p o t h e t i c a l group were p o s s i b l e . Nevertheless, Davies obtained i n t e r e s t i n g r e s u l t s which serve as the b a s i s f o r the present i n v e s t i g a t i o n . Tests of 5 E n g l i s h language competence conducted on the three groups of c h i l d r e n i n d i c a t e d the f o l l o w i n g : (1) For those t e s t s which were analyzed s t a t i s t i c a l l y , i n no instance d i d experimentals score s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower than E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s . D e s c r i p t i v e data from spontaneous language samples suggest that experimentals made more morphological and s y n t a c t i c e r r o r s than E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s . (2) Scores from one E n g l i s h comprehension subtest, as w e l l as from a t e s t of E n g l i s h speaking s k i l l s , i n d i c a t e d that m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s were performing s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower than experimentals. (3) On s e v e r a l t e s t s of E n g l i s h language competence, m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s obtained s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower scores than E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s ( i . e . vocabulary comprehension, comprehension of commands, t e s t of o r a l language, spontaneous language sample, and some m e t a l i n g u i s t i c s k i l l s ) The p i c t u r e that emerges from the above r e s u l t s suggests that m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion programs are becoming as p r o f i c i e n t i n E n g l i s h as c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion whose n a t i v e language i s E n g l i s h . This supports Davies' hypothesis that the experimental group would perform j u s t as w e l l as the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group. Test scores showed the experimentals to be s c o r i n g s l i g h t l y below the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s , but not s i g n i f i c a n t l y below. In a d d i t i o n , the experimentals showed stronger a b i l i t i e s i n some areas of E n g l i s h language competence than the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s , even though both groups expressed p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e s towards home language and c u l t u r e . This suggests that a t t i t u d i n a l f a c t o r s alone are not r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the success of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n (Davies 1985). At l e a s t i n the short term ( i . e . by the end of 6 grade one), m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion programs s u f f e r no i l l e f f e c t s i n the development of the maj o r i t y language. However, a number of rel e v a n t questions remain unanswered. For example, how w i l l the E n g l i s h language s k i l l s of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion programs develop over the longterm? Davies proposes that these c h i l d r e n may e v e n t u a l l y outperform not only the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s but a l s o the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s . The advantages of l e a r n i n g a d d i t i o n a l languages (Stern 1982) may not have been evident when these c h i l d r e n were i n grade one but may surface when these c h i l d r e n are o l d e r . Conversely, these c h i l d r e n may suddenly begin to experience increased d i f f i c u l t i e s at higher grade l e v e l s when the language demands of c u r r i c u l a become i n c r e a s i n g l y complex. R e c a l l t h a t m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion c o n s i s t e n t l y scored s l i g h t l y below the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s . These e a r l y lags which appear n o n s i g n i f i c a n t when the academic demands imposed on c h i l d r e n are minimal may be e a r l y i n d i c a t o r s that these c h i l d r e n are at r i s k f o r language/learning d i s a b i l i t i e s i n l a t e r grades. The purpose of the present study i s t o re-evaluate the E n g l i s h language s k i l l s of the same group of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion -- by t h i s time i n grades f i v e or s i x — i n v o l v e d i n Davies' study. Information gathered from t h i s study i s of value t o educators i n determining how French Immersion programs a f f e c t m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n ' s development of the ma j o r i t y language and w i l l f u r t h e r help i n d i c a t e whether p r e v e n t a t i v e measures should be taken to circumvent language/learning d i s a b i l i t i e s f o r t h i s group of c h i l d r e n . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , i n f o r m a t i o n may emerge to suggest that the immersion environment i s as appropriate or more appropriate to the needs of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n than are r e g u l a r E n g l i s h classrooms (Genesee 1976). 8 French Immersion Education i n Canada D e f i n i t i o n : A b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n of immersion and terms a s s o c i a t e d w i t h immersion education i s necessary p r i o r to the c o n s i d e r a t i o n of French Immersion f o r m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n . Immersion education i s g e n e r a l l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d by three v a r i a b l e s : 1) the language of i n s t r u c t i o n 2) the c h i l d ' s n a t i v e language and 3) the p r o p o r t i o n of time the c h i l d i s taught using the second language as opposed t o the f i r s t language. French Immersion programs i n Canada use French as the language of i n s t r u c t i o n f o r m a j o r i t y language c h i l d r e n ( i . e . E n g l i s h -speaking c h i l d r e n ) . The mother tongue may be used f o r some curr i c u l u m i n s t r u c t i o n but the same m a t e r i a l i s never taught i n both languages. Keeping i n s t r u c t i o n of a p a r t i c u l a r subject i s o l a t e d to e i t h e r French or E n g l i s h without mixing the two languages i s thought to reduce the chances of confusion f o r the students (Genesee 1983). The goal of immersion education i s t o enable a c h i l d to become f u n c t i o n a l l y competent i n a second language while s t i l l m a intaining p r o f i c i e n c y i n the f i r s t language. Genesee (1983) s t a t e s f u r t h e r that c h i l d r e n i n immersion are expected to a t t a i n a l e v e l of achievement across subject areas t h a t i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e i r grade l e v e l . The Immersion Environment: Features of French Immersion environments are p a r t i c u l a r l y r e l e v a n t to t h i s d i s c u s s i o n since immersion programs were developed w i t h a view t o c r e a t i n g an environment conducive to 9 language l e a r n i n g . The f o l l o w i n g d e s c r i p t i o n i s based on Genesee's (1983) d i s c u s s i o n of the immersion environment. In French Immersion, c h i l d r e n are encouraged to use French as much as p o s s i b l e f o r communication but they are not p e n a l i z e d f o r using E n g l i s h during the e a r l y stages of the program. Therefore, they may address t h e i r teachers or peers i n E n g l i s h i f they f e e l the need to do so. Teachers, however, i n t e r a c t w i t h the c h i l d r e n only i n French, and thus serve as monolingual models which may r e i n f o r c e the c h i l d r e n ' s use of French. The f a c t that French Immersion c h i l d r e n ' s n a t i v e language i s valued and recognized by the teachers, other c h i l d r e n and t h e i r f a m i l i e s means tha t French Immersion c h i l d r e n are able t o maintain t h e i r c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y while s t i l l a c q u i r i n g p r o f i c i e n c y i n a second language (Bruck 1982; Swain 1981b, c i t e d i n Davies 1985). Furthermore, the l e a r n i n g environment i n French Immersion i s one i n which emphasis i s placed on c h i l d r e n ' s communicative attempts r a t h e r than on the form of the message. That i s , a l l attempts i n the second language are met w i t h p r a i s e even i f the form of the message i s not e n t i r e l y c o r r e c t . This creates p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e s towards the second language which, i n t u r n , may increase m o t i v a t i o n (Bruck 1982). This communicative environment p a r a l l e l s c h i l d r e n ' s home environments, which Genesee has termed "context embedded," and which "derives from i n t e r p e r s o n a l involvement i n a shared r e a l i t y that reduces the need f o r l i n g u i s t i c e l a b o r a t i o n of the message" (Cummins 1981: 11, c i t e d i n Genesee 1983). Such an environment may be an 10 appropriate ^ t r a n s i t i o n a l step between the home and school. Carey (1985) suggests that context embedded communication i s l e s s c o g n i t i v e l y demanding and may more c l o s e l y match the young c h i l d ' s communicative a b i l i t i e s . Although French Immersion programs have many features i n common, there are v a r i a t i o n s i n both the p o i n t at which immersion begins and the p r o p o r t i o n of i n s t r u c t i o n that i s conducted i n the f i r s t versus the second language. Several i n v e s t i g a t o r s have described the a v a i l a b l e programs and the f o l l o w i n g d e s c r i p t i o n i s adapted from Cummins (1988). E a r l y T o t a l Immersion uses French as the language of i n s t r u c t i o n f o r a l l c u r r i c u l u m m a t e r i a l i n the e a r l y elementary grades. E n g l i s h i s introduced i n t o the cu r r i c u l u m i n grades two or three and i t s use i s g r a d u a l l y increased u n t i l E n g l i s h makes up approximately h a l f of curr i c u l u m i n s t r u c t i o n by the f i f t h or s i x t h grade. Other v a r i a n t s of immersion are E a r l y P a r t i a l Immersion, and Intermediate-and-Late Immersion. In E a r l y P a r t i a l Immersion, kindergarten i s taught i n E n g l i s h , but i n s t r u c t i o n i n grades one through s i x i s d i v i d e d e q u a l l y between French and E n g l i s h . In Intermediate-and-Late Immersion, French i s not used f o r i n s t r u c t i o n i n the e a r l y grades ( i . e . K, grade one, grade two). Thereafter, i t s i n t r o d u c t i o n v a r i e s from as e a r l y as grade three to as l a t e as grade twelve (Cummins 1988). Davies (1985) chose her subjects from E a r l y T o t a l Immersion programs since these programs delay the i n t r o d u c t i o n of E n g l i s h the longest and t h e r e f o r e have the greatest p o t e n t i a l impact on 11 m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n ' s development of E n g l i s h (Davies 1985);, Conditions under which c h i l d r e n acquire new languages The success that c h i l d r e n from m a j o r i t y language backgrounds experience i n French Immersion c o n t r a s t s sharply w i t h the performance of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n E n g l i s h language programs (see d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s below). In . t h i s s e c t i o n , I consider the d i f f e r i n g c o n d i t i o n s under which these two groups of c h i l d r e n acquire a new language, as w e l l as the c o n d i t i o n s under which m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion acquire new languages. Submersion programs, as opposed to immersion programs, are those i n which m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n are i n s t r u c t e d s o l e l y i n the m a j o r i t y language (McLaughlin 1985 and 1987/ Skutnabb-Kangas 1981; Bruck 1982). Whether a p a r t i c u l a r program c o n s t i t u t e s immersion or submersion depends on s e v e r a l c r i t e r i a : (1) v o l u n t a r y p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the language program (2) the consequences of f a i l u r e w i t h i n the language program (3) homogeneity of the p a r t i c i p a n t s w i t h respect t o the language l e a r n i n g task (4) the degree t o which the language l e a r n i n g atmosphere i s p o s i t i v e and supportive (5) a t t i t u d e s towards home language and c u l t u r e (6) whether the teacher i s b i l i n g u a l or not and (7) the amount of p a r e n t a l support (Skutnabb-Kangas 1981) . • M a j o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n immersion programs experience considerable advantages over m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n submersed i n m a j o r i t y language schools (Skutnabb-Kangas 1981). 12 For example, the m a j o r i t y language c h i l d and h i s parents v o l u n t a r i l y chose the immersion educational route, while m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n have no choice but to e n r o l l i n m a j o r i t y language schools. Furthermore, f o r the m a j o r i t y language c h i l d , the consequences of f a i l u r e i n immersion are not c a t a s t r o p h i c since the c h i l d has the option of dropping out of the program and co n t i n u i n g h i s , e d u c a t i o n i n the m a j o r i t y language. In c o n t r a s t , f o r m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n , the consequences of f a i l u r e can be dramatic, since the c h i l d has no a l t e r n a t i v e but t o ca r r y on i n the same program. He w i l l l i k e l y continue to do po o r l y , which may impact on h i s chances f o r future e d u c a t i o n a l and/or job o p p o r t u n i t i e s . M i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n m a j o r i t y language schools are al s o at a disadvantage compared w i t h t h e i r m a j o r i t y language peers, since the l a t t e r are n a t i v e speakers of the language of i n s t r u c t i o n while the m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n are not. This may not only l e a d to educational disadvantages but may a l s o lead t o f e e l i n g s of i n f e r i o r i t y and shame. The m a j o r i t y language c h i l d i n immersion may not experience f e e l i n g s of i n f e r i o r i t y t o h i s classmates, since a l l of the c h i l d r e n are l e a r n i n g a language w i t h which they are u n f a m i l i a r . A l s o , there are no negative a t t i t u d e s towards the m a j o r i t y c h i l d ' s language w i t h i n the school environment or the community. C h i l d r e n and educators understand and speak the c h i l d ' s mother tongue as do members of the community, enabling m a j o r i t y language immersion students to maintain p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e s towards t h e i r home language and c u l t u r e . Furthermore, the goal of immersion programs i s to add a language to the student's r e p e r t o i r e , r a t h e r than replace t h e i r mother tongue w i t h a new language. Thus, the m a j o r i t y language c h i l d i s immersed i n a p o s i t i v e and supportive environment where a l l attempts at communication i n the second language are met wit h p r a i s e (Bruck 1982; Genesee 1983). Since the educational environment c a t e r s t o the needs of n a t i v e speakers of the language of i n s t r u c t i o n , the m i n o r i t y language c h i l d o f t e n l a c k s the same supportive atmosphere seen i n immersion schools. Immersion teachers are b i l i n g u a l and can understand the c h i l d when the l a t t e r lapses i n t o the mother tongue. I t i s a l s o worth n o t i n g t h a t the immersion teacher plans c l a s s sessions f o r non-native speakers of the language of i n s t r u c t i o n . Immersion teachers are apparently h i g h l y aware of the needs of the language l e a r n e r and adjust t h e i r speech a c c o r d i n g l y (McLaughlin 1985). For example, they s i m p l i f y t h e i r output by keeping utterances short and b a s i c i n grammatical s t r u c t u r e . They a l s o use many s t r a t e g i e s that p a r a l l e l those used by parents during f i r s t language a c q u i s i t i o n ; namely, expansion, r e p e t i t i o n and c l a r i f i c a t i o n . Conversely, the m a j o r i t y language teacher i s often monolingual, and plans lessons f o r n a t i v e speakers of E n g l i s h . The goal of the•educational program i s to a s s i m i l a t e the m i n o r i t y language c h i l d to the m a j o r i t y language ra t h e r than add a language t o h i s r e p e r t o i r e . As a r e s u l t , the m i n o r i t y language c h i l d may develop negative f e e l i n g s towards h i s home language and c u l t u r e . 14 F i n a l l y , good p a r e n t a l support i s expected f o r the m a j o r i t y language c h i l d i n immersion since parents have chosen t h i s e d u cational route f o r t h e i r c h i l d and must t h e r e f o r e have a high degree of i n t e r e s t i n t h e i r c h i l d ' s education and success. McLaughlin (1985) p o i n t s out t h a t French Immersion programs i n Canada were i n i t i a t e d by parents who continue to play a primary r o l e i n the development and implementation of these programs. As a consequence of such a p o s i t i v e language l e a r n i n g environment, Skutnabb-Kangas (1981) suggests that there are good chances of success f o r the m a j o r i t y language c h i l d i n immersion. On the other hand, the amount of p a r e n t a l support f o r m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n may be much more l i m i t e d since parents are not n e c e s s a r i l y as i n v o l v e d i n t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s educational program as parents of immersion c h i l d r e n . Such an environment then c o n s t i t u t e s a submersion language l e a r n i n g environment (Skutnabb-Kangas 1981; McLaughlin 1985) where chances of success are poor (Ta r d i f & Wever 1987; Mo e l l e r 1988) . The c o n d i t i o n s under which m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion programs acquire new languages d i f f e r from those described above. These c h i l d r e n b e n e f i t from many advantages that t h e i r m i n o r i t y peers i n E n g l i s h classrooms l a c k . These advantages are both environmental and s o c i o l o g i c a l . M i n o r i t y language "children i n French Immersion, l i k e the m a j o r i t y language c h i l d i n French Immersion, p a r t i c i p a t e v o l u n t a r i l y . Parents are n a t i v e speakers of n e i t h e r the m a j o r i t y language nor the second language used to i n s t r u c t t h e i r c h i l d , but nevertheless are l i k e l y t o b e l i e v e i t important f o r t h e i r c h i l d t o acquire a d d i t i o n a l languages. Thus, parents of mi n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion programs are supportive and t h i s may i n d i r e c t l y create p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e s towards a c q u i r i n g new languages. In a d d i t i o n , the f a c t t h a t language l e a r n i n g i s valued by these f a m i l i e s may make them more l i k e l y to maintain p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e s towards t h e i r own language and c u l t u r e . The r i s k s of f a i l u r e f o r these c h i l d r e n are s i m i l a r to those of t h e i r m a j o r i t y language peers i n French Immersion, since an a l t e r n a t i v e E n g l i s h language educational route i s a v a i l a b l e to them. However, the m a j o r i t y language c h i l d who drops out of French Immersion w i l l be educated i n h i s mother tongue whereas the m i n o r i t y language c h i l d w i l l f a l l i n t o the submersion category. The m i n o r i t y language c h i l d i n French Immersion a l s o experiences e q u a l i t y w i t h h i s peers i n terms of the language l e a r n i n g task. A l l of h i s classmates are non-na t i v e speakers of French and, t h e r e f o r e , the m i n o r i t y language c h i l d has no reason t o f e e l insecure about h i s l e v e l of language competence. I f anything, the f a c t t h a t language l e a r n i n g i s p r a i s e d and i s the primary goal of immersion education may make mi n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n f e e l s u p e r i o r , since they already know an a d d i t i o n a l language. These p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g s may lead to a high degree of s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e and create good mo t i v a t i o n . Immersion teachers, who are b i l i n g u a l themselves, gear t h e i r lessons towards non-native speakers of the language. M i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n are not considered l i n g u i s t i c a l l y disadvantaged w i t h respect t o t h e i r classmates and so teachers have e q u a l l y high expectations f o r a l l the c h i l d r e n i n t h e i r c l a s s e s . Therefore, the l e a r n i n g environment f o r m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion more c l o s e l y resembles that of E n g l i s h c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion than m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n E n g l i s h programs. These c h i l d r e n are l i k e l y t o experience success at a c q u i r i n g French while c o n t i n u i n g t o develop t h e i r E n g l i s h language a b i l i t i e s i n a p o s i t i v e , supportive environment. The need f o r lonaterm s t u d i e s C r o s s - s e c t i o n a l versus l o n g i t u d i n a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n s : The advantages and disadvantages of c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l as opposed t o l o n g i t u d i n a l language development s t u d i e s have been considered e x t e n s i v e l y . L o n g i t u d i n a l s t u d i e s d i f f e r from c r o s s -s e c t i o n a l s t u d i e s i n that data i s c o l l e c t e d from the same i n d i v i d u a l s over an extended p e r i o d of time. Thus development can be observed d i r e c t l y . C r o s s - s e c t i o n a l s t u d i e s i n c l u d e groups of c h i l d r e n at d i f f e r e n t ages, u s u a l l y sampled at only one poi n t i n time. In c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l s t u d i e s , development i s i n f e r r e d from measures of language a b i l i t y f o r each age group. The goals of i n v e s t i g a t o r s g e n e r a l l y d i c t a t e whether a Study should be c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l or l o n g i t u d i n a l . For example, i f q u a n t i t a t i v e data are needed t o e s t a b l i s h which phonemes are found i n the sound r e p e r t o i r e of two-year-olds, a c r o s s -s e c t i o n a l study th a t includes a l a r g e sample s i z e i s l i k e l y t o be conducted. However, i f q u a l i t a t i v e i n f o r m a t i o n i s needed t o answer more s p e c i f i c questions, such as the sequence of emergence of phonemes, a l o n g i t u d i n a l study i s p r e f e r r e d . Unfortunately, research l i m i t a t i o n s often make i t more d i f f i c u l t to conduct l o n g i t u d i n a l s t u d i e s despite the tremendous amount of informat i o n such s t u d i e s provide. E a r l y language t e s t i n g and French Immersion f o r m a j o r i t y language c h i l d r e n : I t i s not p o s s i b l e to determine whether the r e s u l t s of s t u d i e s i n which subjects are t e s t e d only once are r e p r e s e n t a t i v e over time, and conclusions drawn from one-time r e s u l t s may lead t o premature recommendations. For example, i t i s now the general consensus that m a j o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n French Immersion programs i n i t i a l l y l a g behind t h e i r peers on t e s t s of E n g l i s h language competence. However, these e a r l y lags disappear towards the end of t h e i r elementary education (Cummins 1988) . In t h i s case, had-» i n v e s t i g a t o r s considered e a r l y language t e s t r e s u l t s alone, premature recommendations may have been made w i t h respect t o m a j o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion programs. T r i t e s & M o r e t t i (1986) review a number of s t u d i e s which i n d i c a t e e a r l y E n g l i s h language lags i n m a j o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion. For instance, B a r i k & Swain (1974, 1975a, 1975b, 1976a, 1976b, c i t e d i n T r i t e s & M o r e t t i 1986) found lags i n the E n g l i s h language s k i l l s of c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion i n grade one, but these lags were overcome by grade two when E n g l i s h language i n s t r u c t i o n was introduced. S i m i l a r l y , Edwards & Casserly (1971, 1972, 1973 c i t e d i n T r i t e s & M o r e t t i 1986) found lags i n the E n g l i s h language s k i l l s of grade two French Immersion students, but these e a r l y lags disappeared by the end of grade three, once E n g l i s h language i n s t r u c t i o n made up at l e a s t p a r t of the curricu l u m . Carey & Cummins (1983) found no d i f f e r e n c e s i n E n g l i s h language a b i l i t i e s of French Immersion students compared w i t h a group of E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s at the grade f i v e l e v e l but i n a l a t e r study (Carey & Cummins 1984), the same i n v e s t i g a t o r s found weaker E n g l i s h language s k i l l s i n t h e i r experimental group when the group c o n s i s t e d of younger subjects (grade t h r e e ) . Shapson & Kaufman (1978) found th a t the e a r i y gaps i n E n g l i s h language s k i l l between French Immersion and r e g u l a r E n g l i s h program c h i l d r e n disappeared by the end of grade three. This provides f u r t h e r evidence t h a t lags i n E n g l i s h language a b i l i t y o f t e n e x i s t e a r l y on f o r m a j o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion but, apparently, these c h i l d r e n achieve p a r i t y w i t h t h e i r nonimmersion English-speaking peers towards the end of t h e i r elementary s c h o o l i n g . In h i s review on immersion education, Genesee (1983) corroborates the above r e s u l t s and notes a l s o t h a t there appears t o be no strong c o r r e l a t i o n between the amount of E n g l i s h language used i n the classroom and c h i l d r e n ' s eventual p r o f i c i e n c y i n E n g l i s h . In other words, c h i l d r e n who re c e i v e much of t h e i r i n s t r u c t i o n i n E n g l i s h e a r l y on (for instance, c h i l d r e n i n Delayed Immersion) d i s p l a y no longterm advantages i n t h e i r E n g l i s h language s k i l l s over c h i l d r e n who re c e i v e E n g l i s h language i n s t r u c t i o n only i n l a t e r grades. 19 E a r l y Language Testing and m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n Regular E n g l i s h Programs: While the t r e n d f o r c h i l d r e n from m a j o r i t y language backgrounds e n r o l l e d i n French Immersion programs has been th a t e a r l y n a t i v e language lags disappear over time, the reverse has been found f o r m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n r e g u l a r E n g l i s h programs. These c h i l d r e n experience d i f f i c u l t i e s e a r l y on and t h e i r problems p e r s i s t over time. Not only do these c h i l d r e n f a i l to acquire the second language, but they a l s o lose p r o f i c i e n c y i n t h e i r n a t i v e language and experience poor academic success (Skutnabb-Kangas 1981/ Anderson & Boyer 1978, Darcy 1963, c i t e d i n Bruck 1982/ Macnamara 1966, Gezi 1974, O r t i z 1982, c i t e d i n T r i t e s 1986/ Wiss 1987/ G i l l e t t 1987). Co g n i t i v e Advantages of Learning A d d i t i o n a l Languages: Davies (1985) reviews a number of reports which propose th a t c h i l d r e n who acquire a d d i t i o n a l languages may d i s p l a y c o g n i t i v e b e n e f i t s that monolingual c h i l d r e n l a c k . Apparently, c h i l d r e n a c q u i r i n g a d d i t i o n a l languages d i s p l a y increased a b i l i t i e s i n the areas of concrete o p e r a t i o n a l t h i n k i n g , divergent t h i n k i n g , s p a t i a l a b i l i t i e s , general reasoning and m e t a l i n g u i s t i c awareness (Davies 1985: 20-28). However, i n her own study, Davies (1985) f a i l e d t o f i n d evidence of c o g n i t i v e advantages f o r m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion. She suggested t h a t these advantages may not be evident u n t i l c h i l d r e n are o l d e r . Davies (1985) f u r t h e r emphasizes the need f o r follow-up work i n order to confirm or r e j e c t language l e a r n i n g advantages. A l o n g i t u d i n a l study may help determine whether m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion programs continue to f o l l o w the p a t t e r n of E n g l i s h language development seen i n t h e i r E n g l i s h peers i n French Immersion or whether the e a r l y n o n s i g n i f i c a n t E n g l i s h language lags e v e n t u a l l y l e a d to the same d i f f i c u l t i e s t h a t t h e i r m i n o r i t y background peers i n E n g l i s h programs experience. A l t e r n a t i v e l y , m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion may d i s p l a y a d d i t i o n a l advantages th a t the other two groups l a c k . Therefore, three p o s s i b i l i t i e s e x i s t : (1) E a r l y n o n s i g n i f i c a n t lags become more s i g n i f i c a n t i n l a t e r years when the language demands imposed on the c h i l d i n c r e a s e . (2) E a r l y n o n s i g n i f i c a n t lags remain n o n s i g n i f i c a n t (3) M i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion e x c e l w i t h respect t o both t h e i r E n g l i s h peers i n French Immersion and t h e i r m i n o r i t y language peers i n re g u l a r E n g l i s h programs. Summary In Canada, French Immersion programs have been a s u c c e s s f u l means of teaching a second language to c h i l d r e n from E n g l i s h language backgrounds ( i . e . m a j o r i t y language backgrounds). L o n g i t u d i n a l s t u d i e s have f u r t h e r shown that a c q u i s i t i o n of French occurs at no cost to these c h i l d r e n ' s f i r s t language s k i l l s . Conversely, second language l e a r n i n g f o r m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n submersed i n r e g u l a r E n g l i s h programs i s sometimes uns u c c e s s f u l . Some i n v e s t i g a t o r s have attempted to e x p l a i n d i f f e r e n c e s i n performance among these two groups of 21 c h i l d r e n by the d i f f e r e n t c o n d i t i o n s under which these c h i l d r e n l e a r n new languages. The present i n v e s t i g a t i o n t a r g e t s a t h i r d group of c h i l d r e n : m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n French Immersion. The primary o b j e c t i v e i s to re-examine Davies' (1985) hypotheses i n order to determine whether these c h i l d r e n f o l l o w the p a t t e r n of E n g l i s h language development seen i n t h e i r E n g l i s h peers i n French Immersion or th a t seen i n t h e i r m i n o r i t y language peers i n E n g l i s h programs. The n u l l hypotheses t o be t e s t e d are: (1) There are no d i f f e r e n c e s i n the E n g l i s h language s k i l l s of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion and E n g l i s h -speaking c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion as demonstrated by a) comprehension s k i l l s b) production s k i l l s c) m e t a l i n g u i s t i c a b i l i t y (2) There are no d i f f e r e n c e s i n the E n g l i s h language s k i l l s of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion and m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n r e g u l a r E n g l i s h c l a s s e s as demonstrated by: a) comprehension s k i l l s b) production s k i l l s c) m e t a l i n g u i s t i c a b i l i t y 22 CHAPTER TWO METHODS Design Since the present i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s a f o l l o w up t o th a t of Davies (1985), the b a s i c design was i d e n t i c a l . C h i l d r e n that p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the study i n 1985 f e l l i n t o three groups of ten: 1. Experimental group: m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n French Immersion. 2. M i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s : m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n r e g u l a r E n g l i s h classrooms. 3. E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s : m a j o r i t y language ( i . e . English-speaking) c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n French Immersion. The E n g l i s h language s k i l l s of the experimental group are compared wi t h those of m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s i n order to e s t a b l i s h whether French Immersion has a negative impact on the development of E n g l i s h language s k i l l s i n m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n . The experimental group i s a l s o compared w i t h E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s t o determine whether knowledge of a t h i r d language puts c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion at a r e l a t i v e advantage w i t h respect to t h e i r peers f o r the a c q u i s i t i o n of the m a j o r i t y language. 23 Subjects In the i n i t i a l study, t h i r t y grade one c h i l d r e n were s e l e c t e d from the Vancouver School Board and Richmond School Board (Davies 1985). Each of these c h i l d r e n were i n c l u d e d i n one of the three groups described above. The present study i n c l u d e d twenty-three of the o r i g i n a l t h i r t y p a r t i c i p a n t s ; four c h i l d r e n (two experimentals, and two m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s ) had moved out of province, and of the remaining twenty-six, one experimental and one m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l were not i n c l u d e d because t h e i r parents d i d not give consent. F i n a l l y , one c h i l d from the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group had been e n r o l l e d i n a s p e c i a l school f o r c h i l d r e n w i t h a f f e c t i v e d i s o r d e r s , and was therefore, not considered an appropriate s u b j e c t . As a r e s u l t , seven experimentals, nine E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s , and seven m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s were i n c l u d e d . A l l but two of the subjects were nearing the completion of t h e i r f i f t h grade. The other two su b j e c t s , both from the experimental group, had skipped a grade and were nearing the completion of t h e i r s i x t h grade (see t a b l e 1 f o r d e s c r i p t i v e data on the subjects that p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s study). 24 Group Mean Age 1 SES 2 -5 Languages Sex High Low male:female Experimental 10; 9 7 0 Chinese P e r s i a n German Czech Spanish Korean (2) (2) (1) (1) (1) (1) 4 2:5 M i n o r i t y C o n t r o l : 10; 11 3 4 Chinese Punjabi I t a l i a n (4) (2) (1) 2:5 E n g l i s h C o n t r o l : 10;10 8 1 E n g l i s h (9) 3:6 TABLE 1. Mean age, SES, Native Language and Sex of subjects p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the study. years; months. As r a t e d by Davies 1985. Languages spoken i n the home; numbers i n parentheses i n d i c a t e number of c h i l d r e n who speak the s p e c i f i e d language. The t o t a l number of languages i s one greater than the t o t a l number of c h i l d r e n i n the experimental group because one c h i l d speaks both Chinese and German i n the home. 25 Experimental group: In Davies' (1985) study, c r i t e r i a f o r assignment to the experimental group i n c l u d e d the f o l l o w i n g : 1) i n the home, c h i l d r e n spoke a language other than French or E n g l i s h before they were three years o l d 2) t h i s language was, at the time of Davies' (1985) i n v e s t i g a t i o n , spoken by at l e a s t one parent no l e s s than f i f t y percent of the time 3) the c h i l d r e n ' s parents were non-native speakers of E n g l i s h , and f i n a l l y 4) these c h i l d r e n were e n r o l l e d i n e a r l y t o t a l French Immersion at.the onset of Davies' (1985) study and had been since kindergarten. In the present i n v e s t i g a t i o n , not a l l of the experimental group c h i l d r e n were e n r o l l e d i n t o t a l immersion; four of the seven experimentals able t o p a r t i c i p a t e were i n a b i l i n g u a l program i n which i n s t r u c t i o n i s d i v i d e d roughly e q u a l l y between French and E n g l i s h . The languages spoken by the seven experimental group c h i l d r e n i n c l u d e d Chinese (2), Korean (1) , German (1), Spanish (1), P e r s i a n (2), Czech (1). The t o t a l number of languages spoken i s one greater than the t o t a l number of experimental subjects because one c h i l d speaks both Chinese and German. M i n o r i t y c o n t r o l group: C r i t e r i a f o r assignment to the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l group were the same as f o r the experimental group, except that the subjects were e n r o l l e d i n r e g u l a r E n g l i s h classrooms and had been since kindergarten (see Davies 1985). Thus, a l l of t h e i r i n s t r u c t i o n was i n the m a j o r i t y language of the community. One f u r t h e r c r i t e r i o n o u t l i n e d i n the 1985 study 26 was that these c h i l d r e n were not e n r o l l e d i n s p e c i a l c l a s s e s f o r non-native speakers of E n g l i s h ( i . e . ESL c l a s s e s ) . The language backgrounds of the m i n o r i t y group c h i l d r e n were: Chinese (4), Greek (1) and Punjabe (2). E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group: The nine subjects comprising the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group were from homes i n which E n g l i s h was the only language spoken by both the c h i l d r e n and t h e i r parents. In 1985, a l l of these c h i l d r e n were e n r o l l e d i n e a r l y t o t a l French Immersion and had been since kindergarten. However, by the time of the present i n v e s t i g a t i o n , four of the nine were e n r o l l e d i n b i l i n g u a l classrooms. French Immersion programs: In 1985, the c h i l d r e n s e l e c t e d f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Davies' i n v e s t i g a t i o n attended four schools: two schools from the Vancouver School Board and two from the Richmond School Board. In the present i n v e s t i g a t i o n , the m a j o r i t y of the subjects s t i l l attended three of the four o r i g i n a l schools. F i v e students from the o r i g i n a l study had moved t o d i f f e r e n t schools but were in c l u d e d i n the follow-up since they had remained i n s i m i l a r e d u c a t i o n a l programs. Table 2 l i s t s the schools attended by a l l s u b j e c t s . Group: Schools Number of Students Experimentals: L'Ecole B i l i n g u e S i r James Douglas W i l l i a m Cook 4 2 1 M i n o r i t y C o n t r o l s : E n g l i s h C o n t r o l s : S i r James Douglas W i l l i a m Cook Van Horn Elementary 4 2 1 L'Ecole B i l i n g u e S i r James Douglas W i l l i a m Cook York House Aubrey Elementary 3 1 3 1 1 TABLE 2. L i s t of schools from which subjects were s e l e c t e d . 28 Whereas c h i l d r e n i n the experimental and E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group r e c e i v e d a l l i n s t r u c t i o n i n French i n 1985 (grade one), t h i s was not the case i n the present i n v e s t i g a t i o n . As mentionned above, E n g l i s h language i n s t r u c t i o n i s introduced i n French Immersion programs at higher grade l e v e l s . The amount of i n s t r u c t i o n i n E n g l i s h v a r i e s across programs from as l i t t l e as twenty percent t o as much as s i x t y percent by grade s i x (Genesee 1983). Since the subjects i n t h i s study came from s e v e r a l schools, i t was not p o s s i b l e t o c o n t r o l f o r the amount of i n s t r u c t i o n given i n E n g l i s h . Procedure The subjects were administered a b a t t e r y of t e s t s at the end of grade f i v e , or, i n the case of the two subjects who skipped a grade, at the end of grade s i x . These t e s t s were designed to evaluate the c h i l d r e n ' s comprehension and production of E n g l i s h , as w e l l as t h e i r m e t a l i n g u i s t i c s k i l l s . The i n t e n t i o n was t o use the same language measures as Davies (1985), which would enable d i r e c t comparison. However, by 1989, the c h i l d r e n had exceeded the c e i l i n g age f o r two t e s t s used by Davies (1985): the Clark-Madison Test of Oral Language (Clark & Madison 1981) and the m e t a l i n g u i s t i c tasks designed by P r a t t , Tunmer, & Bowey (1984) th a t Davies (1985) r e p l i c a t e d i n her study. Age-appropriate t e s t s were s u b s t i t u t e d wherever p o s s i b l e and w i l l be described below. 29 Each c h i l d was t e s t e d i n a qui e t room w i t h i n the school. Testing was conducted over three sessions f o r each of the c h i l d r e n : the f i r s t s e s s ion l a s t e d approximately f o u r t y - f i v e minutes, the second session approximately t h i r t y minutes, and the f i n a l s ession l a s t e d f i f t e e n minutes. A l l t e s t s were administered i n the same order f o r each subject. E n g l i s h Comprehension Tests Peabody P i c t u r e Vocabulary Test-Revised The PPVT-R (Dunn & Dunn 1981) i s designed to assess the extent of E n g l i s h vocabulary a c q u i s i t i o n . This standardized r e c e p t i v e vocabulary t e s t r e q u i r e s the subject to s e l e c t a p i c t u r e considered t o best i l l u s t r a t e the meaning of a stimulus word presented o r a l l y by the examiner. Each item has four simple, black-and-white i l l u s t r a t i o n s arranged i n a m u l t i p l e - c h o i c e format. This t e s t took approximately f i f t e e n minutes to administer. Token Test f o r C h i l d r e n This standardized t e s t i s designed to assess comprehension of o r a l l y presented sentences (DiSimoni 1978). The subject i s r e q u i r e d to manipulate v a r i o u s c o l o r e d tokens that c o n t r a s t i n s i z e and shape i n response to p r o g r e s s i v e l y longer and more complex commands (DiSimoni 1978). This t e s t took approximately f i f t e e n minutes t o administer. The c e i l i n g age f o r t h i s t e s t i s twelve years o l d . C h i l d r e n i n the present i n v e s t i g a t i o n could p o t e n t i a l l y reach a plat e a u i n performance since they are approaching the c e i l i n g age of t h i s t e s t ( f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n on t h i s subject i s provided i n the r e s u l t s s e c t i o n ) . Despite t h i s p o t e n t i a l problem, the Token Test was considered an appropriate language measure f o r s e v e r a l reasons. For instance, the c h i l d r e n were s t i l l one to two years younger than the c e i l i n g age f o r which r e s u l t s were reported by DiSimoni (1978). In a d d i t i o n , since the Token Test was one of the language measures used by Davies (1985) , a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of t h i s subtest would al l o w d i r e c t comparison of c h i l d r e n ' s performance i n 1985 and 1989. Further, since p o t e n t i a l delays i n E n g l i s h language a b i l i t y were the subject of t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n , the r i s k of plateaus i n performance was no more l i k e l y than performance c o n s i s t e n t w i t h younger-aged c h i l d r e n . F i n a l l y , DiSimoni (1978) rep o r t s t h a t although plateaus begin t o appear i n c h i l d r e n at approximately age nine, the c o n f i g u r a t i o n of performance v a r i e s according t o f a c t o r s such as SES and c u l t u r a l background, suggesting t h a t c h i l d r e n from m i n o r i t y c u l t u r e s may perform d i f f e r e n t l y from c h i l d r e n from m a j o r i t y c u l t u r e s . Test of M e t a l i n g u i t i c A b i l i t y Test of Language Competence (TLC) One subtest of the TLC (Wiig & Secord 1985), subtest one, was administered to the s u b j e c t s . This subtest i s designed to assess c h i l d r e n ' s a b i l i t y t o i n t e r p r e t sentences that are ambiguous at the l e x i c a l or s t r u c t u r a l l e v e l . For t h i s task, c h i l d r e n attempted t o recognize sentence ambiguity by s t a t i n g e x p l i c i t l y the d i f f e r e n t meanings of stimulus sentences w i t h i n twenty seconds. This subtest took approximately f i f t e e n minutes t o administer. The Word Test The Word Test i s a s t a n d a r d i z e d t e s t d e s i g n e d t o a s s e s s p r o d u c t i v e v o c a b u l a r y and s e m a n t i c a b i l i t i e s ( Jorgensen, B a r r e t t , H u i s i n g h & Zachman 1981). In f a c t , as t h e f o l l o w i n g d e s c r i p t i o n s i n d i c a t e , t h i s i s a t e s t o f m e t a l i n g u i t i c a b i l i t y . I t i s d i v i d e d i n t o s i x p a r t s : 1) a s s o c i a t i o n s : T h i s t a s k r e q u i r e s t h e s u b j e c t t o choose t h e one word from f o u r t h a t does not b e l o n g . He must t h e n e x p l a i n h i s c h o i c e i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e c a t e g o r y o f t h e o t h e r t h r e e words. 2) synonyms: T h i s t a s k r e q u i r e s t h e s u b j e c t t o e x p r e s s a one-word synonym f o r each s t i m u l u s i t e m . 3) s e m a n t i c T h i s t a s k t a p s t h e s u b j e c t ' s a b i l i t y a b s u r d i t i e s : t o i d e n t i f y and e x p r e s s what i s wrong w i t h an a b s u r d s t a t e m e n t . 4) antonyms: T h i s t a s k r e q u i r e s t h e s u b j e c t t o e x p r e s s a one-word o p p o s i t e f o r each s t i m u l u s i t e m . 5) d e f i n i t i o n s : T h i s t a s k examines t h e s u b j e c t ' s a b i l i t y t o e x p l a i n t h e meanings o f words. 6) m u l t i p l e T h i s t a s k i s d e s i g n e d t o e l i c i t two d e f i n i t i o n s : meanings f o r each t e s t word. (from J o r g e n s e n , B a r r e t t , H u i s i n g h & Zachman 1981, p p . 8 ) . T h i s t e s t t o o k a p p r o x i m a t e l y t h i r t y minutes t o a d m i n i s t e r . E n g l i s h Language P r o d u c t i o n Spontaneous Language Sample Spontaneous language samples were e l i c i t e d u s i n g a p i c t u r e d e s c r i p t i o n t a s k . Two p i c t u r e s were p r e s e n t e d t o each c h i l d . F o l l o w i n g Snow's (manuscript) c o n t e x t u a l i z e d and d e c o n t e x t u a l i z e d language t a s k s , c h i l d r e n were r e q u i r e d t o t e l l e v e r y t h i n g t h e y c o u l d about t h e f i r s t p i c t u r e . The c h i l d r e n were t h e n r e q u i r e d t o d e s c r i b e a second p i c t u r e so t h a t a t h i r d p e r s o n , who was not p r e s e n t i n t h e room, 32 would l a t e r be able t o draw an i d e n t i c a l p i c t u r e using only the c h i l d ' s tape-recorded d e s c r i p t i o n . The speech samples of p i c t u r e two were subsequently analyzed q u a n t i t a t i v e l y to determine type/token r a t i o s , average number of words per clause ( f o l l o w i n g the segmentation methods described by Martin 1977, Pappas 1981, and Rochester & Martin 1979), and number of e r r o r s per clause. A n a l y s i s As there were three planned comparisons f o r each t e s t , group means of the standardized t e s t scores were compared using an a p r i o r i t e s t f o r comparing m u l t i p l e independent groups f o l l o w i n g the method suggested by Pagano (1981). Test s t a t i s t i c s were considered s i g n i f i c a n t at the l e v e l of alpha < or equal t o 0.1 ( a f t e r Davies 1985), unless otherwise s t a t e d . This c o n s t i t u t e s a l e n i e n t l e v e l of s i g n i f i c a n c e , but since the nature of t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s p r e l i m i n a r y and ex p l o r a t o r y , f a c t o r s t h a t should be inc l u d e d i n future i n v e s t i g a t i o n s and t e s t e d according to more s t r i n g e n t s i g n i f i c a n t c r i t e r i o n w i l l l i k e l y be i d e n t i f i e d , while those not s i g n i f i c a n t at even t h i s l e n i e n t l e v e l can be discarded. A d d i t i o n a l comparisons were made on t e s t s which were administered i n 1985, and again i n 1989. S p e c i f i c a l l y , c o r r e l a t e d w i t h i n group comparisons of raw scores were made i n order to determine the r e l a t i v e improvement of each subject from 1985 to 1989. Comparisons of improvement over time could then be made across the three groups of c h i l d r e n . . 33 CHAPTER THREE RESULTS On s e v e r a l t e s t s , the r e s u l t s f o r one c h i l d ('lex') from the experimental group were f a r below those of any of the other c h i l d r e n i n v o l v e d i n t h i s study; f o r example, c h i l d '7ex' obtained a standard score on the PPVT-R of 7 6, while the average score f o r the twenty-two other c h i l d r e n was 112 (range 92 t o 136; SD = 10.87). Therefore, the r e s u l t s from t h i s c h i l d were discarded f o r a l l t e s t s , and were not in c l u d e d i n the analyses. This d e c i s i o n could be viewed as c o n t r a d i c t o r y since one purpose of t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n was to i d e n t i f y subpopulations of c h i l d r e n t h a t are at r i s k f o r language d i s a b i l i t i e s . However, examination of t h i s subject's performance i n 1985 (when the subject was i n grade one) showed a s i m i l a r p a t t e r n , suggesting a developmental, r a t h e r than an acquired delay. 1. Peabody P i c t u r e Vocabulary Test-R A n a l y s i s of the standard scores from the PPVT revealed that vocabulary comprehension of the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l c h i l d r e n d i d not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y from that of the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s (p > 0.1; t a b l e 3). However, c h i l d r e n from the experimental group scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than e i t h e r the m i n o r i t y 34 c o n t r o l group ( t ^ t - = 2.75; p < 0.02) or the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group ( t o b t = 1.90; p < 0.1). Group: Mean Standard D e v i a t i o n Experimental: 121.0 10.06 M i n o r i t y C o n t r o l s : 106.3 8.71 E n g l i s h C o n t r o l s : 111.3 10.01 TABLE 3. Summary of r e s u l t s f o r the PPVT-R. Since the PPVT-R was also administered in.1985, i t was possible to determine the r e l a t i v e improvement of each group over time. Figure 1 displays the mean raw scores from 1985 and 1989. These results suggest that the experimental group improved at a faster rate than the other two groups of ch i l d r e n . This was supported by a two-way ANOVA (years x groups), which showed a s i g n i f i c a n t i n t e r a c t i o n effect (f = 6.91; p = 0.006). 2. Token Test for Children Individual scores for each subtest of the Token Test were uniformly high, suggesting that the children had reached a plateau i n performance. There were no s i g n i f i c a n t differences between groups (p > 0.1; table 4). Figure 2 i l l u s t r a t e s the c e i l i n g e f fect that occurs with majority culture, normal, middle class children on the Token Test. This figure was constructed from the normative data provided by the author of the test (DiSimoni 1978). The figure shows that mean ove r a l l test scores begin to plateau i n children between the ages of eight and nine. Though performance analogous to that of younger children ( i . e . nine and below) was a d i s t i n c t p o s s i b i l i t y for the minority language subjects i n t h i s study (see methods for further discussion), apparently a l l three groups of children had reached plateaus i n performance on t h i s t e s t . Mean Raw S c o r e 150 i ^r- E x p e r i m e n t a l s -\— M i n o r i t y C o n t r o l s Figure 1. Comparison of the mean raw scores obtained on the PPVT-R by the experimental, minority control, and English control groups in 1985 and 1989. 37 Subtest Grouj One Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. 3 : Mean Standard D e v i a t i o n : 501.0 : 501.0 501.0 Two Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. 502.0 502.0 501.3 2.00 Three Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. 501.8 2.86 503.0 501.4 3.09 Four Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. 501.8 3.82 501.7 1.80 503.6 2.18 Fi v e Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. 502.3 3.20 500.5 4.65 503.4 3.50 O v e r a l l Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. TABLE 4. Summary oi 502.7 1.86 502.0 2.08 503.7 2.35 : r e s u l t s f o r a l l subtests of the Token Test. Token Test Overa l l S c o r e s (means) 60 i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Age (years) Figure 2. Mean overall scores obtained by groups of children ranging in age from 3;0 to 12;0 years old. Graph constructed from data provided in DiSimoni 1978. 39 3. Test of Language Competence Comparison of mean scores across groups revealed that E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s and m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s d i d not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n m e t a l i n g u i s t i c a b i l i t y (p > 0.1; t a b l e 5). However, the experimental group scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l group (p Qbt = 1«87; p < 0.1; f i g 1). Thus, the experimental group demonstrated a su p e r i o r a b i l i t y t o recognize l e x i c a l l y and s t r u c t u r a l l y ambiguous sentences compared wi t h m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s . 4. Word Test There were no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s among groups on subtests A, B, D, E, F, and the o v e r a l l t e s t scores (p > 0.1; t a b l e 6). However, the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l group on subtest C, semantic a b s u r d i t i e s (p Qbt = 2.6701, p < 0.02). Thus, c h i l d r e n from the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group were b e t t e r able t o i n t e r p r e t sentences c o n t a i n i n g semantic a b s u r d i t i e s (for example, "the mother fed the l u l l a b y to her baby") than the mi n o r i t y c o n t r o l group. Further d i f f e r e n c e s between groups may not have been present because scores on t h i s t e s t were, as w i t h the Token Test, uniformly high. The average o v e r a l l mean scores t h a t c h i l d r e n obtained on t h i s t e s t corresponded to a p e r c e n t i l e rank of ninety-nine percent or above. 40 Group: Mean Standard D e v i a t i o n Experimentals: 11.0 '. ' 1.67 M i n o r i t y C o n t r o l s : 8.9 2.48 E n g l i s h C o n t r o l s : 9.4 1.94 TABLE 5. Summary of r e s u l t s f o r the TLC. 41 Subtest Grout, A Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. 3 : Mean Standard D e v i a t i o n : 55.2 4.40 52.7 5.35 55.1 4.26 B Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. 53.2 3.25 52.4 2.23 52.3 2.40 C Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. 54.3 1.37 52.9 1.68 55.0 1.66 D Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. 53.3 2.34 53.5 2.23 52.8 2.17 E Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. 54.0 1.83 54.1 2.34 51.0 2.29 F Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. 53.8 1.94 53.0 1.73 52.7 3.04 O v e r a l l Exp. Min. Con. Eng. Con. TABLE 6. Summary oi 58.7 2.42 57.3 2.29 58.2 2.64 : r e s u l t s f o r a l l subtests of the Word Test. 42 5. Spontaneous Language Samples The p i c t u r e d e s c r i p t i o n s f o r p i c t u r e two proved adequate f o r the purposes of the present a n a l y s i s . Four measures were used to complete t h i s q u a n t i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s : t o t a l number of words (tokens), t o t a l number of d i f f e r e n t words (types), t o t a l number of clauses, t o t a l number of e r r o r s of form. From these measures, c a l c u l a t i o n s of mean length of clause, type/token r a t i o s , and e r r o r s per clause were p o s s i b l e . As a measure of s y n t a c t i c complexity, the mean length of independent clause was c a l c u l a t e d . This measure i s comparable to mean length of utterance but i s more appropriate f o r o l d e r c h i l d r e n , since t h e i r utterances are more lengthy and complex than younger c h i l d r e n , and mean length of utterance r e f l e c t s s i t u a t i o n of speaking more than i t does grammatical complexity at t h i s developmental stage. In order to segment the t e x t i n t o clauses, the independent clause was chosen as a u n i t of a n a l y s i s . A clause was considered independent i f i t could stand on i t s own as a d e c l a r a t i v e , i n t e r r o g a t i v e , exclamatory or imperative s t r u c t u r e . This d e f i n i t i o n of the independent clause i s based on c l a s s i f i c a t i o n w i t h i n a systemic grammar framework ( H a l l i d a y & Hasan 1976). The f o l l o w i n g segmentation procedure was used to i d e n t i f y the independent clauses w i t h i n the t e x t (procedure described by M a r t i n 1977, Pappas 1981, and Rochester & Martin 197 9). Independent clauses i n c l u d e the f o l l o w i n g : a) any independent clause followed by a subordinate clause (the subordinate clause may be r e l a t i v e , complement or adverbial) e.g. there's a fireman g e t t i n g a person out of the apartment because he won't be able t o come down b) clauses that are conjoined and i n which there i s subject e l l i p s i s e.g. the woman i s on the r i g h t side and i s ho l d i n g a microphone c) other coordinated clauses are counted as two independent clauses e.g. the tr u c k has two wheels at the f r o n t /and i t ' s k i n d of on i t s side C a l c u l a t i o n of the mean number of words per clause revealed a l l three groups to be performing s i m i l a r l y (p > 0.1, see t a b l e 7); that i s , there was no cross-group d i f f e r e n c e i n s y n t a c t i c complexity. Type/token r a t i o s were c a l c u l a t e d to provide a measure of productive vocabulary. Type/token r a t i o , which i s c a l c u l a t e d by d i v i d i n g the t o t a l number of d i f f e r e n t words i n a sample (types) by the t o t a l number of words (tokens) , i s widely recognized to be a r e l i a b l e i n d i c a t o r of l e x i c a l d i v e r s i t y . This measure complements the vocabulary comprehension t e s t , the PPVT-R. The r e s u l t s suggested once again t h a t , despite considerable v a r i a b i l i t y w i t h i n groups, c h i l d r e n across groups tended to produce a s i m i l a r number of t o t a l words (tokens) and t o t a l d i f f e r e n t word types (types) (p > 0.1, see t a b l e 7). Davies (1985) found t h a t , i n grade one, both m i n o r i t y language groups produced more e r r o r s of form than d i d the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group. E r r o r s of form were t a b u l a t e d i n the present speech samples t o determine whether t h i s d i f f e r e n c e s t i l l e x i s t e d by grade f i v e or grade s i x . The e r r o r s t a b u l a t e d i n the c h i l d r e n ' s speech samples inclu d e d : a) d e l e t i o n of o b l i g a t o r y c o n s t i t u e n t s e.g. the fireman i s wearing black coat ( i n d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e a omitted) 44 b) morphological e r r o r s e.g. the ladders is. grey ( s i n g u l a r is. produced i n s t e a d of p l u r a l are) c) a d d i t i o n of an e x t r a c o n s t i t u e n t e.g. there's a g i r l t hat she's h o l d i n g a microphone (referent of she i s g i r l and t h e r e f o r e she i s redundant) Comparison of number of e r r o r s per clause i n d i c a t e d no d i f f e r e n c e s between the three groups of c h i l d r e n (p > 0.1, see t a b l e 7). In f a c t , c h i l d r e n g e n e r a l l y produced very few e r r o r s w i t h respect to the t o t a l number of clauses and many c h i l d r e n produced no e r r o r s at a l l . S u b jective observation of the speech samples suggested that s e v e r a l c h i l d r e n had d i f f i c u l t y m a intaining unambiguous reference (e.g. "there's a lady from i t " , where c l e a r reference of i t . to the b u i l d i n g i s not e s t a b l i s h e d ) . A n a l y s i s of t h i s e r r o r - t y p e should be considered i n future i n v e s t i g a t i o n s . To summarize the r e s u l t s : a) comprehension: M i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion were s c o r i n g s i g n i f i c a n t l y b e t t e r than the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l group or E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group on vocabulary comprehension. The experimental group was performing s i m i l a r l y t o the c o n t r o l groups on comprehension of complex commands. b) m e t a l i n g u i s t i c s k i l l s : M i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion were d i s p l a y i n g b e t t e r m e t a l i n g u i s t i c s k i l l s than the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l group, as assessed by the Test of Language Competence. The experimental group was performing s i m i l a r l y to the other two groups of c h i l d r e n on the remainder of the m e t a l i n g u i s t i c t e s t s . c) production: M i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion were demonstrating productive s k i l l s which p a r a l l e l e d those of both c o n t r o l groups. They produced a s i m i l a r number of words per clause, e r r o r s per clause, and obtained comparable type/token r a t i o s . Thus, n u l l hypothesis (1) was r e j e c t e d f o r vocabulary comprehension. The r e s u l t s from a l l other measures of E n g l i s h comprehension, production and m e t a l i n g u i s t i c a b i l i t y provide support f o r hypothesis (1). N u l l hypothesis (2) was r e j e c t e d f o r vocabulary comprehension and a b i l i t y t o i n t e r p r e t ambiguous sentences. A l l other r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e d no d i f f e r e n c e s i n E n g l i s h language a b i l i t y between m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion and m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n r e g u l a r E n g l i s h c l a s s e s , and thus serve as support f o r hypothesis (2). 46 Experimentals Minority controls English controls Words M 229.8 295.9 188.6 SD 131 350 64 range 121-460 73-1054 100-274 Independent Clauses M 21 26 18 SD 10 25 6 range 10-34 9-79 9-28 Words/Indep .Clause M 11 10 10 SD 2 2 1 . range 9-14 8-13 8-12 E r r o r s / c l a u se M 0.044 0.086 0.055 SD 0.065 0.096 0.082 range 0.00-0.154 0.00-0.222 0.00-0.250 Type/token r a t i o s M 0.39 0.44 0.39 SD 0.07 0.16 0.08 range 0.30-0.50 0.19-0.66 0.30-0.47 Table 7. Mean frequency of words, independent clauses, words per independent clause, e r r o r s per clause, and type/ token r a t i o s . 47 CHAPTER FOUR DISCUSSION Davies (1985) concluded that m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n can attend French Immersion programs without r i s k of delays i n the development of the m a j o r i t y language of the community ( E n g l i s h ) . However, Davies recommended a follow-up i n v e s t i g a t i o n would be b e n e f i c i a l i n determining whether the patterns of E n g l i s h language development suggested by e a r l y language t e s t r e s u l t s p e r s i s t over time, or whether language d e f i c i t s might emerge as the c u r r i c u l u m assumes a more s o l i d E n g l i s h language base at higher grade l e v e l s . Thus, the purpose of t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n was t o re-evaluate the E n g l i s h language s k i l l s of the same group of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n French Immersion programs i n order to e s t a b l i s h whether these c h i l d r e n continue to perform as w e l l as t h e i r E n g l i s h peers i n French Immersion and t h e i r m i n o r i t y language peers attending a l l - E n g l i s h programs. The present r e s u l t s suggest that the E n g l i s h language s k i l l s of m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n continue to be as w e l l -developed as those of both E n g l i s h c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion and m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n a l l - E n g l i s h programs. Furthermore, the vocabulary comprehension of m i n o r i t y language 48 c h i l d r e n e n r o l l e d i n French Immersion appears to be sup e r i o r t o that of e i t h e r m i n o r i t y or E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s . A d d i t i o n a l l y , r e s u l t s from the TLC suggest t h a t experimentals have m e t a l i n g u i s t i c s k i l l s s u p e r i o r to those of the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s . These r e s u l t s not only support Davies' (1985) hypothesis, but a l s o extend her f i n d i n g s , showing that over time, l e v e l s of E n g l i s h language p r o f i c i e n c y i n m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion remain comparable t o those of t h e i r E n g l i s h and mi n o r i t y language peers i n French Immersion and a l l - E n g l i s h programs, r e s p e c t i v e l y . Davies s t a t e d that the su p e r i o r performance of the experimental group compared w i t h that of m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l group i s not c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the s o c i o - p s y c h o l o g i c a l model of language l e a r n i n g since both groups apparently h o l d t h e i r home language and c u l t u r e i n high regard. Davies (1985) noted that her questionnaires may not have produced r e l i a b l e information about a t t i t u d e s of c h i l d r e n , t h e i r parents, or teachers towards home language and c u l t u r e . I f the experimental group c h i l d r e n , t h e i r teachers and parents hold home languages and c u l t u r e i n higher regard than do the c h i l d r e n , parents and teachers of the mi n o r i t y c o n t r o l group, then the experimental group would be expected t o score higher on language t e s t s than the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l group (Davies 1985). On the other hand, the c o n d i t i o n s under which c h i l d r e n acquire new languages have been described as an i n t e r a c t i o n between environmental and s o c i o - p s y c h o l o g i c a l f a c t o r s . Attitudes towards home language and culture constitute only one of many of these f a c t o r s . In chapter one, I i d e n t i f i e d the conditions under which minority language children i n French Immersion learn new languages. This c l a s s i f i c a t i o n suggested that the conditions for learning experienced by minority language children i n French Immersion more closely resemble those of t h e i r majority language peers i n French Immersion than those of t h e i r minority language peers i n regular English programs. I f so, i t i s perhaps not surprising that both majority and minority language children i n French Immersion demonstrate superior English language s k i l l s to those of minority language children i n English programs. Davies (1985) suggests that the superior English language performance of minority language children i n immersion (compared with the minority control group) may result from higher l i n g u i s t i c competence i n t h e i r f i r s t language ('psycholinguistic model'; see Davies, 1985, for further discussion). However, the explanation that English performance i s related to f i r s t language competence i s weakened by the current observation that, on one of the tests (PPVT-R), the experimental group performed better than the English control group. Presumably, at the onset of schooling i n French Immersion, the f i r s t language s k i l l s of majority language children were at least as good as those of minority language children, since the former had constant exposure to English ( i . e . i n the home and i n the community), while the children i n the experimental group were only exposed to t h e i r f i r s t language i n the home. In addition, i t seems l i k e l y t hat m a j o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion probably have b e t t e r o p p o r t u n i t i e s to maintain good f i r s t language s k i l l s compared wi t h m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion, since c h i l d r e n from the former group are exposed to E n g l i s h more ofte n ( i . e . at home, i n the community, and during some of the c u r r i c u l u m ) , while c h i l d r e n from the l a t t e r group are, at best, exposed to t h e i r n a t i v e language only i n the home. I f the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group do indeed possess stronger f i r s t language a b i l i t i e s than the experimental group, the p s y c h o l i n g u i s t i c model cannot account f o r the su p e r i o r performance of the experimental group on vocabulary comprehension. D i f f e r e n c e s i n i n t e l l i g e n c e may al s o account f o r the Superior performance of the experimentals compared wi t h the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s . Unfortunately, i n t e l l i g e n c e was not o b j e c t i v e l y evaluated i n Davies' (1985) study ( s u b j e c t i v e teacher r a t i n g s of student standing were used to c o n t r o l f o r d i f f e r e n c e s i n i n t e l l i g e n c e ) , and t h i s could have a f f e c t e d performance i n the 1985 i n v e s t i g a t i o n as w e l l as i n t h i s f o l l o w -up i n v e s t i g a t i o n . This study provides new evidence suggesting t h a t c h i l d r e n who acquire a d d i t i o n a l languages demonstrate at l e a s t some l i n g u i s t i c advantages (Stern 1982). In t h i s case, m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y b e t t e r than the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l c h i l d r e n and m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l c h i l d r e n on a vocabulary comprehension t e s t . The experimental group a l s o performed s i g n i f i c a n t l y b e t t e r than the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l group on a subtest of m e t a l i n g u i s t i c a b i l i t i e s . These r e s u l t s suggest t h a t l i n g u i s t i c b e n e f i t s r e s u l t i n g from knowledge of a d d i t i o n a l languages may not become apparent u n t i l c h i l d r e n are i n grades f i v e or s i x . Future i n v e s t i g a t i o n s should aim to sample m u l t i l i n g u a l c h i l d r e n ' s l i n g u i s t i c a b i l i t i e s at i n c r e a s i n g age l e v e l s t o e s t a b l i s h whether other l i n g u i s t i c advantages emerge as c h i l d r e n get o l d e r . Stronger E n g l i s h language a b i l i t i e s i n m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n i n French Immersion were not present across a l l areas t e s t e d . However, the language measures used may not have been s e n s i t i v e enough to d i s t i n g u i s h s m a l l , but c o n s i s t e n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n performance. Since scores represented performance oh standardized t e s t s and since the subjects i n t h i s study a l l f a l l w i t h i n the range of normal, the amount of v a r i a t i o n i n scores i s reduced and s t a t i s t i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s are not as l i k e l y . Another problem i s that a d d i t i o n a l l i n g u i s t i c advantages may e x i s t , but may not have been apparent at the ages sampled i n t h i s study. A l o n g i t u d i n a l study w i t h assessments c a r r i e d out at r e g u l a r i n t e r v a l s would b e t t e r address t h i s l a s t i s s u e . Superior performance of the experimental group compared wit h the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l was noted on only one subtest; perhaps too much weight has been placed on t h i s f i n d i n g . However, despite the lack of s t a t i s t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e , there was a c o n s i s t e n t t r e n d on most other t e s t s and subtests f o r experimental c h i l d r e n to score higher than c h i l d r e n from the E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group. This i s i n marked co n t r a s t w i t h Davies' (1985) study i n which the reverse p a t t e r n was t r u e ; c h i l d r e n i n the experimental group tended to score lower than t h e i r E n g l i s h peers. Thus, French Immersion programs may a c t u a l l y confer a d d i t i o n a l b e n e f i t s upon m i n o r i t y language c h i l d r e n , a l l o w i n g them to acquire E n g l i s h s k i l l s at an a c c e l e r a t e d r a t e . Comparison of the data from 1985' w i t h data from 1989 i n d i c a t e s t h a t e a r l y gaps i n E n g l i s h language a b i l i t i e s of m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s compared w i t h E n g l i s h c o n t r o l s p e r s i s t , although they are l e s s apparent. The E n g l i s h c o n t r o l group scored higher on a subtest of the Word Test which tapped c h i l d r e n ' s a b i l i t i e s to i n t e r p r e t sentences c o n t a i n i n g semantic a b s u r d i t i e s . Thus, m e t a l i n g u i s t i c s k i l l s do not seem to be as w e l l developed i n m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l c h i l d r e n as i n e i t h e r of the other two groups of c h i l d r e n . Perhaps the m i n o r i t y c o n t r o l s would b e n e f i t from features of French Immersion programs that r e g u l a r E n g l i s h programs l a c k . I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the r e s u l t s from t h i s study should be viewed w i t h c a u t i o n . Because the sample s i z e was reduced from the 1985 study, i t was d i f f i c u l t to show s t a t i s t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r the trends observed i n the r e s u l t s . Furthermore, c e i l i n g e f f e c t s may have been present on some of the subtests administered. S p e c i f i c a l l y , on two of the four t e s t s used i n t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n , c h i l d r e n were performing uniformly high, making i t more d i f f i c u l t to observe d i f f e r e n c e s even i f variances i n a b i l i t i e s were present. In f a c t , the two t e s t s t h a t had higher c e i l i n g ages were the ones showing s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n performance between groups. Unfortunately., fewer language measures are available for children at the grade f i v e or six l e v e l , making i t d i f f i c u l t to avoid c e i l i n g e f f e c t s . In conclusion, minority language children are excellent candidates for French Immersion programs, and suffer no detrimental e f f e c t s to the development of t h e i r English language s k i l l s . These children appear to have l i n g u i s t i c advantages over minority language children i n regular English classrooms. In addition, minority children i n Immersion demonstrate increased vocabulary comprehension s k i l l s compared with children from majority language backgrounds i n French Immersion. It seems, however, that these language benefits may not become apparent u n t i l children are older, i n t h i s case, i n grade f i v e or s i x . This finding should be considered by professionals i n charge of French Immersion programs; proposed early screening programs (e.g. Tr i t e s 1985) designed to i d e n t i f y children who perform more poorly than expected may f a l s e l y l a b e l as ' at r i s k ' those children who experience temporary lags i n language a b i l i t i e s . 54 REFERENCES Bruck, M. (1982). Language-impaired c h i l d r e n ' s performance i n an a d d i t i v e b i l i n g u a l education program. Applied P s y c h o l i n g u i s t i c s . 3 . 45-60. Carey, S. (1984). R e f l e c t i o n s on a Decade of French Immersion. The Canadian Modern Language Review. 41. 24 6-259. Carey, S. & Cummins, J . (1983). Achievement, b e h a v i o r a l c o r r e l a t e s and teachers' perceptions of francophone and anglophone Immersion students. Alberta Journal of Educational Research. 2 9 . 159-167. Carey, S. & Cummins, J . (1984). Communication S k i l l s i n Immersion Programs. Alberta Journal of Educational Research. 3 0 . 270-283. Cummins, J . (1988). Research Findings from French Immersion Programs Across Canada: A Parent's Guide. Canadian Parents for French. 41. 1-4. Davies, S. (1985). E n g l i s h Language S k i l l s of M i n o r i t y Language C h i l d r e n i n a French Immersion Program. M.Sc. t h e s i s . U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. 124 pp. DiSimoni, F. (1978). The Token Test for Children: Manual. Teaching Resources Corporation, Hingham, Mass. 63 pp. Dunn, L. & Dunn, L. (1981). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised: Manual. American Guidance S e r v i c e , C i c l e Pines, Minn. 141 pp. Genesee, F. (1976). The S u i t a b i l i t y of Immersion Programs f o r a l l C h i l d r e n . The Canadian Modern Language Review. 3 2 . 494-515. Genesee, F. (1983). An i n v i t e d a r t i c l e — B i l i n g u a l education of majority-language c h i l d r e n : The Immersion experiments i n review. Applied P s y c h o l i n g u i t i c s . 4. 1-46. Genesee, F., Sheiner, E., Tucker, G.R. & Lambert, W.E. (1976). An Experiment i n T r i l i n g u a l Education. The Canadian Modern Language Review. 3 2 . 115-128. G i l l e t t , J . (1987). E t h n i c B i l i n g u a l Education f o r Canada's M i n o r i t y Groups. The Canadian Modern Language Review. 4 3 . 337-356. Hakes, D. (1980). The Development of M e t a l i n g u i s t i c Abilities in Children. Springer-Verlag B e r l i n Heidelberg, New York. 119pp. H a l l i d a y , M.A.K. & Hasan, R. 1976. Cohesion in English. London: Longman. Ho l t , D.D. & Tempes, F. 1982. Basic Principles for the Education of Language-Minority Students: An Overview. C a l i f o r n i a State Department of Education, Sacramento, Ca. 28 pp. Jorgensen, C , B a r r e t t , M., Huisingh, R. & Zachman, L. 1981. The Word Test: Examiner's Manual. LinguiSystems Inc., Moline, 111. 74 pp. M a r t i n , J . (1977). Learning how to tell: semantic sytems and structures in children's narratives. Doctoral d i s s e r t a t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y of Essex. ( U n i v e r s i t y M i c r o f i l m s . No. 78-70, 018)- - - - - - ~ -McLauglin, B. (1984). Second Language A c q u i s i t i o n in Childhood: Volume I. Preschool Children. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc., H i l l s d a l e , NJ. 261 pp. McLauglin, B. (1984). Second Language A c q u i s i t i o n in Childhood: Volume II. School-Age Children. Lawrence Erlbaum A s s o c i a t e s Inc., H i l l s d a l e , NJ. 288 pp. McLaughlin, B. (1987). Theories of Second-Language Learning. Edward Arnold L t d . , Baltimore, Maryland. 181 pp. Moe l l e r , P. (1988). No, Sarah, E a r l y Immersion Is Not f o r You. Venture Forth. 19. 11-16. Pagano, R. (1981). Understanding Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences. West P u b l i s h i n g Co., St. Paul, Minn. 1-571. Pappas, C. (1981). The development of narrative capabilities within a synergistic, variable perspective of language development: an examination of cohesive harmony of stories produced in three contexts —- retelling, dictation and writing. Doctoral d i s s e r t a t i o n , Ohio State U n i v e r s i t y . Rochester, S. & M a r t i n , J . (198 9) . Crazy Talk: a Study of the Discourse of Schizophrenic Speakers. New York: Plenum Press. 56 Shapson, S.M. & Day, E.M. (1982). A L o n g i t u d i n a l E v a l u a t i o n of an E a r l y Immersion Program i n B r i t i s h Columbia. Journal of M u l t i l i n g u a l and M u l t i c u l t u r a l Development. 3. 1-16. Shapson, S.M. & Kaufman, D. (1978). Overview of Elementary French Programs i n B.C.: Issues and Research. The Canadian Modern Language Review. 34. 58 6-603. Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (1981). Bilingualism or Not: The Education of M i n o r i t i e s . M u l t i l i n g u a l Matters L t d . , Clevedon, Avon, U.K. 378. Snow, C. Assessment of Academic Language Skills (AALS). Unpublished manuscript, Harvard Graduate School of Education. Stern, H. (1982). Issues in Early Core French: a Selective & Preliminary Review of the L i t e r a t u r e . Toronto Board of Education, Ontario Research Department. T a r d i f , C. & Weber, S. (1987). French Immersion Research: A C a l l f o r New P e r s p e c t i v e s . The Canadian Modern Language Review. 44. 67-77. T r i t e s , R. (1986). Learning D i s a b i l i t i e s and Prediction of Success in Primary French Immersion: An Overview. French Immersion Series. Ontario M i n i s t r y of Education, Toronto. 8 pp. T r i t e s , R. & M o r e t t i , P. (1986). Assessment of Readiness for Primary French Immersion: Grades Four and Five Follow-Up Assessment. French Immersion Series. Ontario M i n i s t r y of Education, Toronto. 175 pp. Wiig, E. & Secord, W. (1985). Test of Language Competence: Technical Manual. The P s y c h o l o g i c a l Corporation Inc., Boston, Mass. 76 pp. Wiss, C. (1987). Issues i n the Assessment of Learning Problems i n C h i l d r e n from French Immersion Programs: A Case Study I l l u s t r a t i o n i n Support of Cummins. The Canadian Modern Language Review. 43. 303-313. 

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