The effects of early-grade immersion in French on the development of English language receptive skills and reading readiness: an evaluation of the kindergarten year in the Port au Port immersion project, 1975-76

Warren, Chesley B. (1977) The effects of early-grade immersion in French on the development of English language receptive skills and reading readiness: an evaluation of the kindergarten year in the Port au Port immersion project, 1975-76. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Purpose of the Study In September 1975, early-grade immersion made its debut in Newfoundland with the establishment of an immersion French Kindergarten at Cape St. George, Port au Port District. The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent their being taught in French during the Kindergarten year would affect the students' development of English language receptive skills and reading readiness. Relationships were also sought between reading readiness and the variables of IQ, sex, occupation of parents, and language spoken in the home. Procedure The sample for the study consisted of 55 Kindergarten students (the total Kindergarten population of Our Lady of the Cape Primary School). The students were assigned to two Kindergarten groups, 28 students in the Immersion French group and 27 students in the Regular English group. The groups were similar in terms of background. Both groups had similar instructional goals for the Kindergarten program. The Immersion French group was taught in French by a native French teacher and the Regular English group was taught in English by a native English-speaking teacher. With regard to instructional materials, the groups were similarly equipped. The instruments used in evaluating the students' English language development and reading readiness were the Gates MacGinitie Readiness Skills Test, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, and the Assessment of Children's Language Comprehension. In May 1976, all students in the sample were given this battery of tests. An IQ measure was taken from scores obtained on the Ravens Progressive Matrices which had been administered earlier in the school term. All testing was done in English by native speakers of English. Data obtained from the tests was analysed using a t-test with significance set at 0.25. Data pertaining to the relationship between reading readiness and the variables of IQ, sex, occupation of parents, and language spoken in the home was examined using an analysis of variance with level of significance set at .05. Conclusions 1. With regard to reading readiness as measured by the Gates MacGinitie Readiness Skills Test, the children in the Immersion French group performed similarly to their peers in the Regular English group. 2. With regard to receptive vocabulary development as measured by the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, the children in the Immersion French group performed similarly to their peers in the Regular English group. 3. With regard to English language comprehension as measured by the Assessment of Children's Language Comprehension, children in the Immersion French group performed similarly to their peers in the Regular English group. 4. With regard to the relationship between IQ and reading readiness, a correlation was found to exist between the IQ level of the student and his/her level of reading readiness. 5. With regard to the relationship between occupation of parents and reading readiness level of the student, there was a significant relationship for the student representing the professional category, but no such relationship for the other occupations selected. 6. With regard to the relationship between sex of the student and his/her reading readiness level, girls were superior to boys in terms of mean scores obtained on the Gates MacGinitie Readiness Skills Test. Boys in the Immersion French group performed better than the boys in the Regular English group. 7. With regard to the relationship between language spoken in the home and the reading readiness level of the student, it was found that children who came from homes where French was spoken scored lower than those who came from homes where no French was spoken. In the Immersion French group, children who came from homes where French was spoken scored considerably lower.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12312
Item ID: 12312
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 90-96).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 25 March 1977
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Port au Port Immersion Project; Education, Bilingual--Newfoundland and Labrador; French language--Study and teaching; Reading (Primary)

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