UBC Theses and Dissertations
Kindergarten screening scores of ESL students Dickinson, David Wayne
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the scores of children who learned English as a second language (L2) in comparison with children who learned English as a first language (L1). Specifically, the kindergarten screening scores of L2 children were analysed considering the variables of: preschool experience, screening date, age at time of screening and the kindergarten screening scores of children for which English is their first language. To investigate these variables the Florida Kindergarten Screening Battery scores of 79 L1 and 79 L2 children were compared to determine some of the differences between both groups. The rationale for the present study is founded upon the fact that tests in general, and specifically the Florida Kindergarten Screening Battery are administered, interpreted and used for placement decisions, as if L2 children are identical to L1 children. In general, very little data was available as to how the performances of L1 children on these measures vary; even less information exists for children from Indo-Canadian or Oriental ethnic groups. Students included in the present study attended kindergarten in the Vancouver Public School system during the 1987/1988 school year. Excluded from the study were students who were repeating kindergarten, enrolled in a French immersion kindergarten program, had an unknown preschool history or proven hearing, visual, intellectual or emotional problems. Students were randomly selected and matched for English language ability (L1/L2), sex and financial status. Data used in the study had been previously collected during the 1987/1988 kindergarten screening by Vancouver school personnel. One way and two factor analyses of variance were used to test for equal means between groups and Pearson Product-Moment Correlations were used to determine the amount of relationship between individual factors within each group. Results indicated low positive correlations between preschool experience and subtest scores on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised and the Recognition-Discrimination Test for L2 students. Low positive correlations were also found between age at time of screening and scores on the Test of Visual-Motor Integration for L1 students. Results also indicated that: L1 students score significantly higher on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, L2 students score significantly higher on the Test of Visual-Motor Integration and that screening date (September versus January) does not have a statistically significant amount of impact upon test scores of L2 children on the Florida Kindergarten Screening Battery. It was concluded that because of the differences between groups, cross comparisons between ethnic groups should be made with caution until clarified by further research.
Item Citations and Data