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Fully English proficient students in a maintenance bilingual bicultural education program.

The purpose of the study was to investigate fully English proficient (FEP) students in an elementary maintenance bilingual bicultural program. Specifically the study examined oral language proficiency in Spanish, academic achievement levels, and attitudes of FEP students who attended a bilingual education program over a period of five or six consecutive years. Levels or oral acquisition in Spanish were measured on the Student Oral Language Observation Matrix (SOLOM); levels of student academic achievement were measured by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills; and student attitudes were measured by an attitude inventory designed by the researcher. A questionnaire for parents of FEP students provided additional information about students and influential factors affecting the parental decisions to enroll FEP children in a bilingual education program. The research design was a descriptive case study involving twenty-seven FEP students in two fifth grade bilingual classes and the parents of these students. Proficiency ratings on the SOLOM, stanines on the ITBS, and attitudes expressed on the inventory were examined to determine if FEP students developed L2 proficiency (or bilingualism) in this program, if the academic achievement of the FEP students was affected by the development of bilingualism, and student attitudes toward Spanish and the minority culture or community. Parents of the FEP students responded to a written questionnaire inquiring about their children's development in speaking Spanish, in scholastic achievement, and in attitudes. Parent interviews were conducted to confirm and expand the written responses. Results indicated that FEP students developed oral proficiency in Spanish along with positive attitudes toward learning to communicate in Spanish. Attitudes toward Mexican culture and the Mexican-American community were also positive. There was no evidence of negative or positive correlation between the development of bilingualism and academic achievement. The information obtained from the parent questionnaires and interviews reinforced the data collected on site about the students, and indicated that the most influential factors for enrolling their children in this bilingual educational program were: (1) to encourage the development of bilingualism and biculturalism in the students; and (2) to provide the children with an excellent curriculum. In conclusion, the findings suggested that maintenance bilingual bicultural programs can result in majority language student development of bilingualism and positive attitudes toward minority languages and cultures, with no detrimental effects on L1 or on academic achievement in English.
Date January 1988
CreatorsBrittain, Fe Carol Pittman.
ContributorsGoodman, Kenneth S., Fuentevilla, Arminda, Goodman, Yetta, Lopez, Richard
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
Source SetsUniversity of Arizona
Detected LanguageEnglish
Typetext, Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.

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