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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Individual differences & second language proficiency Higginson, Dorothy Gayle


This study examines the language proficiency of Late French Immersion students in relationship to the affective variables: self-perceived competency and intrinsic motivation. The sample was comprised of 40 students, ages twelve to thirteen years, who attended a dual-track school in a suburban setting of British Columbia. The Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale was utilized to ascertain a subscale score of academic self-concept. An estimate of the students’ motivational orientation, expressed along an intrinsic/extrinsic continuum, was measured by the Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale for Children. Secondary data on affective variables associated with the students' and their parents were determined through the administration of self-report items selected from the Attitude and Motivation Test Battery of Gardner and Associates. Competency was measured by a standardized instrument, The French Immersion Achievement Test (FIAT) and the B.C. Ministry Assessments of 1987 and 1988. A descriptive analysis of all the variables (aptitude, linguistic & affective) was conducted. Various statistical procedures (Pearson correlation, chi-square and linear regression) were effected with attention to the correlational relationships between: aptitude, language performance, intrinsic motivation, self-perceived competency and integrative orientation. The interrelationship of situational factors such as, standard characteristics of the French Immersion environment and pertinent information on parental student support, was presented.

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