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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The boat people : descriptive analysis of a program for teaching English as a foreign language Bardal, Nancy J.


The purpose of this study was to describe an innovative E.F.L. Program in McCauley School in Edmonton, Alberta, which appeared to provide the basic reading skills and learning experiences needed to help E.F.L. students to integrate into the regular classroom. More specifically, this study sought to gather descriptive data about the program by monitoring the progress of 83 students, mainly Vietnamese boat people, enrolled in the program between September, 1980 and June, 1981. Through the use of teacher and student questionnaires and interviews, examination of curriculum schedules and instructional materials and the use of various formal and informal measures, this study attempted to answer the following questions: 1. Who are the students involved in the program and what are their educational and language backgrounds? 2. Who are the teachers in the program and what are their qualifications? 3. How are the students selected and assigned to the various program levels? 4. What is the curriculum organization of the program? 5. How is the reading component of the curriculum organized in terms of instructional time, content, resources and methodology? 6. How is the program evaluated? 7. Is the program effective, i.e., are there demonstrable gains in students' reading ability? The findings of the study seem to indicate that the McCauley program .in an effective model for responding to the need for special programs in E.F.L. Students appeared to have made about a year's growth in reading and. spelling skills. However, because of the developmental nature of the McCauley program, it is difficult to isolate specific features to draw conclusions at to which components of the program are contributing most to the program's success. It is equally difficult to generalize the findings of the present descriptive study to other populations.

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