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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Associations between participation in the ESL class and in the community by Japanese learners with language achievement, general academic performance, and gender Ellis, James Gordon


Participation in class and in the community by second language learners has been studied as an important factor in the development of a second language. Some studies suggest that there is a positive association between classroom participation and language contact. The relation of this to second language achievement, however, has not been demonstrated as of yet. This study relates participation in both class and community to academic performance both in language specifically and in subject matter courses. Firstly, the study shows a positive relation between participation in the community and the classroom. Secondly, there exists a positive relation between both of these factors and measures of language achievement. The previous research did riot consider sex as a variable but this study demonstrates that sex must be taken into consideration. Moreover, this study contains evidence that measures of participation in class and in the community relate not only to language achievement specifically but to academic achievement more generally. The use of a standard multiple regression has made it possible to consider the effect of all of these factors together. Examination of the data suggested that there was a correlation between high participation in class and community and high academic achievement in language and academic subject matter. Converse results were illustrated between low participation in class and community and low academic achievement in language and academic subject matter. A qualitative examination was conducted of high participants and achievers versus low participants and achievers. The case studies reinforced the quantitative findings and shed light onto possible reasons for gender differences. There were also indications that low participants and achievers were undergoing problems and possibly culture shock.

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