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Date of Award

1982

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Frank Ciriza

First Committee Member

Robert Dash

Second Committee Member

Augustine Garcia

Third Committee Member

Bruce LaBrack

Fourth Committee Member

Fred Muskal

Abstract

PROBLEM: Teaching limited English proficient pupils to read English is a primary concern of teachers in the United States. The problem educators face is how to accomplish the goal effectively. The emphasis on acquisition of oral fluency of English and quick introduction to reading has had mixed results. The controlled studies testing the hypotheses of primary language approaches are scarce.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine achievement test results of bilingual Spanish/English third and fifth grade students who were taught to read: 1) initially in the primary language and then English, 2) were taught to read English with enroute assistance in the primary language, and 3) were taught to read English without recourse to the pupils' primary language. The achievement test scores of the pupils were subjected to statistical treatment to assess the effectiveness of the three approaches to instruction.

PROCEDURES: The achievement test scores of fifty-one third grade and thirty-five fifth grade pupils taught under three different models of instruction, i.e., the Primary Language Approach, the Concurrent Language Approach, and the Direct Language Approach, were analyzed. The analytic procedure adopted was to compare pre and post test scores by both parametric (t-test) and non-parametric (Wilcoxin) tests. A .05 level of confidence was adopted for all analysis. The results of the Bilingual Syntax Measure administered individually in Spanish and English were used as a measure of bilingualism. As a preliminary measure to the ANCOVA, a test was conducted to determine if the groups differed on the pretest.

FINDINGS: By the time of the post test by both the parametric and nonparametric tests for the third grade, there was no statistically significant difference between pre and post test results. The results of the regression analysis did find a significant decrease between pre and post tests for the Concurrent approach group. For the fifth grade, by both the parametric and non-parametric tests, the Primary Language approach group scored higher on both pre and post tests. For the Concurrent Approach group, there was a statistically significant decrease between pre and post tests at the .05 level by both parametric and non-parametric tests.

RECOMMENDATIONS: A long range study that provides for control of variables, such as teacher selection, delivery of instruction, and language proficiency of teachers and students should be conducted in an urban center. A study that controls for these variables before the fact will provide more conclusive evidence regarding the more effective instructional approaches for Spanish/English bilingual pupils in the United States.

Pages

125

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