UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Assessing French as a second language macroclasses in Vancouver, British Columbia Oakey, Susan


The purpose of the present study is to investigate the impact of 130-minute macroclasses, as opposed to 65-minute classes, taught through the communicative approach,, on second language acquisition and long-term retention. The participant group consisted of 48 females and 33 males in 130-minute three times a week Core French as a second language (FSL) 8 classes, taught through the Entre Amis 1 program, running from September 1993 to February 1994 (5 months) and from February to June 1994 (5 months) at Lord Byng Secondary. The comparison group consisted of 27 females and 17 males enrolled in 65-minute three times a week Core FSL 8 classes taught through the Entre Amis 1 program from September 1993 to June 1994 (10 months) at Templeton Secondary. Parents, teachers and counselors of these students participated in the study. In summary, contrary to popular belief, students retain much of what they learn in Core FSL class. The present study found that the quantitative analysis was not nearly as revealing as the qualitative analysis. Quantitative analysis is limited when teachers and students are not randomized. Further research should emphasize the teacher difference and how adequate inservice affects the quality of time given to learning in the second language classroom. The results from the present study are particularly relevant to the 1994 Core French Curriculum because the Ministry of Education has mandated the study of a second language from grades 5 through 8. In addition, teachers must now teach second languages using the communicative approach. More importantly, all of these changes are expected to be fully implemented by the fall of 1995.

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