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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

David P. Baral

First Committee Member

Carole Urzua

Second Committee Member

Dennis C. Brennan

Third Committee Member

Halvor Hansen

Fourth Committee Member

Roger Tom


The purpose of this study was to examine the factors important to the establishment of a Chinese language immersion program in San Francisco, parent motivations and attitudes toward the program, and the impact of the program on student achievement. Descriptive data collected on the 1st and 2nd year of program implementation included summaries of interviews with school personnel, information from documents of the San Francisco Unified School District, tabulations of parent questionnaire responses, and scores from a kindergarten skills inventory and Cantonese Language Skills Test. The comparative portion of the study included an analysis of CTBS-S scores of the program participants and a comparable group of students. The District implemented the Chinese immersion program because of the prior success of a Spanish immersion program, and the influence of a group of parents who were highly interested, organized and motivated. The Chinese immersion program is basically patterned after the Canadian early total immersion model. Both programs were initiated by parents. The major differences from the Canadian model were the ethnic and linguistic composition of students and the timing of introduction of English instruction. Parents enrolled their children in the Chinese immersion program because of a desire for their children to better understand and respect their own and others' cultural and linguistic heritages. Parents were highly satisfied with all aspects of the program. Program participants acquired Cantonese proficiency and literacy skills while developing and maintaining English academic skills. Further research is necessary to address the long term effects of the Chinese immersion program on participants' English academic skills, English language development, Chinese fluency and literacy, and their appreciation of multiculturalism and multilingualism.



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