The Relationship Between Achievement in Second Language Acquisition of Southeast Asian Students and Influencing Variables
Stephany, Gene V.
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The problem. Early evaluation of the English as Second Language program for the Southeast Asian refugee population showed a range of achievement levels in English language acquisition. Sociocultural and psychological factors influencing the success in second language acquisition have been of concern to educators in providing appropriate programs. Procedure. This study was undertaken to determine the degree that selected variables influenced second language learning in the Southeast Asian refugee population in Des Moines public schools. It is intended that this study will provide essential data for program development in the areas of proper assessment, placement, and curricula. A questionnaire to the parents identified: (1) number of years a parent attended school in his or her native country, (2) ability to read and write, (3) predominant language used in the home, and (4) amount of English spoken in the home. Correlational analysis, analysis of variance, and multiple regression analysis were used. The Bilingual Syntax Measure was used to determine achievement in English oral proficiency. Findings. There was a positive relationship between level of second Language acquisition and number of years parents attended school in their native country, parents' ability to read and write, length of time the student had been in school, and amount of English spoken in the home, Levels of achievement were also affected by ethnic group and predominant language spoken in the home. Conclusions. It was concluded that achievement in second language acquisition was interrelated with several sociocultural and psychological factors: (1) number of years of - in native country, (2) parents' ability to read and write, (3) predominant language spoken in the home, (4) the time factor, (5) ethnic group, and (6) amount of English spoken in the home. Recommendations. It is recommended that: (1) program objectives and curricula should take into account sociocultural and psychological factors that influence second language learning, (2) further study be conducted to determine if literacy efforts have a positive affect on second language acquisition, and (3) further study to determine if the same influencing variables affect the development of second language reading and writing skills.
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