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Date of Award

1994

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Education

First Advisor

David Baral

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of Chinese language schools in Northern California in maintaining the Chinese language, culture and ethnicity in a multilingual/multicultural society. The study examined: (1) goals and characteristics of the Chinese schools; (2) curriculum and extracurricular activities; (3) sociocultural and demographic characteristics of principals, teachers, parents, and students; (4) perceptions of these groups about the success of the schools; and (5) problems and difficulties facing the Chinese schools. The sample of the study consisted of 800 principals, teachers, parents and students in five schools. Across all schools, it was found that the majority of the participants perceived the goals of these schools to be teaching the Chinese language and culture, and they were generally satisfied with the schools. It was also found that there was a lack of appropriate teaching materials; that the emphasis of instruction was on the Chinese language; and that the actual classroom teaching was normally teacher-centered. Significant differences among the schools were found in the background characteristics of participants, including their educational level, teaching experience, language usage and length of residence in the United States. The parents' reasons for sending their children to the school, their views of children's motivation to attend the school, and their engagement in Chinese school activities varied significantly across the schools. A significant difference was also found among student groups in their attitudes toward the schools. The findings of this study suggest that ethnic language schools can be valuable resources for multicultural/multilingual education; hence, an exchange of resources between the public schools and the community language schools would be desirable. Recommendations for future research include: (1) a longitudinal study of Chinese language school graduates to determine important elements that contribute to long term language and cultural maintenance; and (2) a study of the communication and partnership arrangements between ethnic language schools and public schools to determine policy implications for bilingual and cross-cultural education.

Pages

187

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