Language transfer: First (L1) and second (L2) proficiency of bilingual adolescent students.
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 students. 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.
University of Stellenbosch, Department of English
Brice, A.E. & Rivero, Y. (1996). Language transfer: First (L1) and second (L2) proficiency of bilingual adolescent students. Per Linguam, 12(2), 1-16. doi: 10.5785/12-2-202
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