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The relationships among cognitive processes, language experience and errors in Farsi speaking ESL adults

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Title: The relationships among cognitive processes, language experience and errors in Farsi speaking ESL adults
Author: Farrokh, Kaveh
Degree Doctor of Philosophy - PhD
Program Special Education
Copyright Date: 2001
Abstract: One of major goals of this study was to examine word reading, cognitive processes (syntactic, phonological, orthographic and memory processes) and errors (syntactic, phonological, and spelling) among bilingual speakers of Farsi and English and to compare their performance to native English speakers. The role of language experience (with LI and L2) with respect to word reading performance and the making of errors was also examined. Participants were 60 bilingual Farsi speaking ESL students (age range 19- 35). A comparison group of 57 native English speakers was also examined. Language experience was estimated by measuring age on arrival to Canada, length of residence in Canada, and amount of Farsi materials read while residing presently in Canada. MANOVA and follow-up ANOVAs indicated that bilinguals did significantly better than native English speakers on a phonological awareness task. This may partly be attributed to early training in phonics instruction from pre-school in Iran. Bilingual students had significantly lower scores on an orthographic awareness task. This was explained by a group of bilinguals who were poor readers of English (n=16) and were not familiar with English Roman based script. There were multivariate main effects for English reading ability. Good readers of English had significantly higher scores on all English reading related cognitive processes. There were multivariate main effects for Farsi reading ability. Follow-up ANOVAs indicated that good Farsi readers had significantly higher scores than poor Farsi readers on all Farsi reading related cognitive processes except for Farsi long term memory. Pratt analyses indicated that variation in English word reading performance and phonological errors could be attributed differentially to cognitive processes and language experience. Correlation analyses found significant relationships for all cognitive processes in English and their counterparts in Farsi. The partialling of language experience had no significant influence on the aforementioned results. These results indicate that there is a common underlying proficiency with respect to cognitive processes across Farsi and English. Recommendations for future studies such as investigations with cognitive processes in other Iranian languages are suggested.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/13682
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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