Language transfer: First (Ll) and second (L2) proficiency of bilingual adolescent students

Alejandro Brice, Yolanda Rivero

Abstract


This study was conducted in three middle schools located at a large urban school district in southeast Florida of the United States. The schools selected have programmes which are designed to draw students who require special instruction in English as a second language (ESL). A total of 89 ESL students in middle grades 6, 7, and 8 were tested with the Spanish and English versions of the Language Assessment Battery (LAB) test, Level Ill (6-8) to measure differences in the level of first and second language achievement. Thirty-three students had been receiving ESL instruction for one year, 25 students had been in the programme for two years, and the remaining 31 students had been ESL students for three or more years. Quantitative results indicated that the higher grade level students performed better than the lower grade ~tudents. Test results did not demonstrate a strong relationship between achievement in L1 and L2. The only skill which seemed to transfer readily was reading. Qualitative results revealed a ~light trend toward increased English proficiency. Test results also indicated that Spanish language maintenance is occurring among subjects in this sample.

Hierdie studie is in drie middelskole in 'n stedelike gebied in suidoos Florida, VSA, onderneem. Die skole hied programme aan vir studente wat spesiale instruksie in Engels Tweedetaal(ET2) benodig. Nege-en-tagtig ET2 studente in Graad 6, 7 en 8 is getoets met die gebruik van die 'Spaanse en Engelse weergawes van die "Language Assessment Battery"(LAB) toets vir die vlakke om verskille in die vlak van eerste- en tweedetaa/prestasie te meet. Drie-en-dertig van die ~tudente het onderrig in ET2 vir een jaar ontvang, 25 het dit vir twee jaar ontvang en die orige 31 studente het ET2-onderrig vir drie ofmeer jaar ontvang. Kwantitatiewe data dui aan dat die "zoer vlak studente beter as die op laer vlak gevaar het. Die toetsuitslae het nie 'n sterk verhouding tussen T1 en T2 prestasie getoon nie. Die enigste vaardigheid wat gemaklik van T1 tot T2 oorgedra is, is lees. Kwalitatiewe data het 'n effense neiging tot verbeterde Engelse vaardigheid getoon. Die toetsuitslae het ook aangedui dat die handhawing van taalvaardigheid in Spaans (T1) onder hierdie groep studente wel plaasvind.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5785/12-2-202

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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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