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Two paths to an additive form of bilingualism through instruction in French : an evaluation of the academic achievement of francophone students enrolled in the Programme-Cadre-de-Français (PCDF) at grades 4 and 6

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Title: Two paths to an additive form of bilingualism through instruction in French : an evaluation of the academic achievement of francophone students enrolled in the Programme-Cadre-de-Français (PCDF) at grades 4 and 6
Author: Corbeil, Giselle
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Language and Literacy Education
Copyright Date: 1984
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate outcomes of a French program in a minority situation at grades four and six. This program, designed for children of Francophone families, offers instruction mainly in French. Nonetheless, two different samples were found in the program, a more French-oriented sample and a more English-oriented sample. The investigation was undertaken to find out how these two subgroups achieve on measures of French and English reading. Francophone and Anglophone parents wish to know how well their children achieve in English compared to students instructed only in English, and further how well their children achieve in French compared to Francophone students in Quebec. The study consisted of administering questionnaires to students and parents in order to assess the linguistic background, and of testing the two subgroups identified in the program, with measures of French and English. Since these two subgroups made up the sample under investigation, it was possible to examine claims advanced by researchers about two different ways of attaining bilingualism—additive and subtractive —for these two groups. The subjects were students at grades four and six enrolled in four schools from four metropolitan Vancouver, B.C. districts. The effectiveness of the PCDF was examined by comparing the PCDF students' mean scores for three dependent variables—the "Gates-MacGinitie" test, the "Test de Lecture", and the "Test de Rendement" with respectively, scores of English-speaking students enrolled in a Regular English Program, scores of English-speaking students enrolled in French Immersion Program, and scores of native-speakers of French enrolled in Quebec schools. Further comparisons were also attempted between the two subgroups' scores on these measures within the PCDF, as their results on these three tests were also analysed in relation to their home language use. The data were analysed using analyses of covariance with a cognitive ability test as the covariate. The results of the analyses indicated that the PCDF was an effective learning experience for both subgroups. Both subgroups at grades four and six do not experience any setback in English, when compared to Regular English Program students (REP) on the Gates-MacGinitie. On the Test de Lecture, English-oriented students, at grades four and six, achieved as well as French Immersion students (EIP). The same results are also found for grade four French-oriented students, while the grade six French-oriented students achieved well above the 50th percentile score on the Test de Lecture. Compared to native-speakers of French, English-oriented students at grade four do not perform as well on the Test de Rendement whereas grade six English-oriented students, while evidencing an improvement, still do not score as well. Grade four French-oriented students also scored low on the Test de Rendement, while grade six achieved as well as native-speakers of French. Historical factors may account for the low scores of grade four French-oriented students. Furthermore, many students in the study have been in the PCDF for an average of only two years, limiting, therefore, the possibility of attaining high scores in French. Recommendations for further research were proposed. For instance, the sample groups tested in this study should be retested in subsequent grades, thus providing a more accurate picture of the outcomes of the PCDF.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/24991
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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