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Evaluation of the effects of Bilingual instruction on the acquisition of English in young East Indian children Moody, Janet Louise

Abstract

This is an evaluation of the second year of a special three year program to assist immigrant children from the Punjab. It describes a homogeneous class of 20 children, all East Indian, ranging in age from 5 to 8. The teacher was also East Indian and was free to use Punjabi whenever she felt a child did not comprehend in English. The language development and self-concept development of children in this class was compared with that of East Indian pupils in regular classes. Classroom programming was documented and records were kept by the teacher of the progress made by each child throughout the year. A video-tape was made of the class at the beginning and end of the year. A reading assessment was also conducted on children who were in the experimental class during 1972 -1973, and who were subsequently moved to a regular class the following year. Only 10 of the original 20 children were still in the experimental class at the end of the year. In language acquisition the experimental group did make substantial gains as compared to the control group over the year, but on only one test were the results statistically significant. In the area of self-concept, the experimental group did show a statistically significant difference on one of the two tests given. Results of the reading tests showed some indication that the experimental group were not functioning as well as the control group. Further testing also provided information on the auditory discrimination and articulation difficulties of these children. . Fluency in their own language (Punjabi) was investigated. It was held that the program was successful and that it should be continued with modifications.

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