Clark, Vivien F. (1995) Investigation of how much knowledge of certain aspects of French culture has been acquired by grade 9 students, in the early and late French immersion programs, in St. John's, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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Although much study has been done on the language skills and attitudes of French immersion students, there has been very little assessment of the students' knowledge of French culture, even though many educationalists advocate such knowledge for second language learners. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Education, Program of Studies, states as one of three objectives for French immersion, the appreciation of French language and culture (p. 184). Thus the intention of this study was to find out if, indeed, early and late French immersion students in grade 9 in St. John's, Newfoundland, have any knowledge of French culture, and if so, how much and of what type; and a further aim was to measure differences, if any, in these areas between the students in the two programs. This study was carried out by means of a questionnaire devised by the researcher. -- The questionnaire was designed in two parts, although the division was not obvious to the respondents. The first part was designed to create a profile of the respondents, and the second part was a test on French culture. This test was divided into three types of culture: behavioral culture is the typical behavior of the culture and involves such things as functional language, gestures and values; informational culture is facts that are cherished by the culture including history and geography, heroes and villains; and achievement culture is the artistic and literary accomplishments of the society. -- The information gathered was used to address the following research questions: — Do the students in the early French immersion and the late French immersion possess similar types of cultural knowledge and similar amounts of knowledge of the three types of culture: behavioral, informational, and achievement? Is there a correlation between knowledge of French culture and, program, overall achievement, achievement in French, attitude towards French people and their culture? Are there any differences in the students' knowledge of French culture which might be attributed to gender? Is there a relationship between program followed or sex of the student, and language used to complete the questionnaire? -- The main research findings in this study were as follows. The early and the late French immersion students demonstrated similar types of knowledge of French culture as tested in this study, but the late French immersion did significantly better on the overall test and on two of the subtests, namely behavioral and achievement culture. There was a strong negative correlation between the students' overall average and, total score and score on informational and achievement culture; and between the student's average in French and, total score and score on achievement culture. No correlation was found between the student's professed attitude towards French people and their culture and his/her score on the test or subtests. It was noted that some questions did seem to have a gender-bias and that this bias was in favour of empathy with the same sex. Hardly any of the late French immersion students answered the French version of the questionnaire but a sizeable number of the early French immersion students did, although among this group there were more females than males.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 124-151|
|Department(s):||Education, Faculty of|
|Geographic Location:||Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||French language--Study and teaching (Secondary)--Newfoundland and Labrador; French language--Study and teaching--Immersion method|
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