Date of Award
Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
Education and Human Development
Robert B. Ribble
With the growth of bilingual students in the American education system, debates have emerged about how schools should respond to the cultural and linguistic diversity of minority language students. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief introduction to research findings related to bilingualism in minority language children and to demonstrate that ability in one language will reflect ability in another. Following a review of historical literature on the topic, the author examines the bilingual/bicultural education program of the Rochester City School District, in which simultaneous instruction is given in two languages and cultures. To measure the effectiveness of the bilingual program, the author compares the 1988-90 English California Achievement Test (CAT) reading scores and the Spanish Language Assessment System (LAS) scores of native Spanish speakers enrolled in a Rochester City School. The comparison of scores revealed that in the initial year of data collection, a very strong relationship between the students’ ability in Spanish and their ability reading English existed. However, when the same initial Spanish scores are used to predict the English reading scores in later years, the strength of the predictive relationship declines. A student-by-student examination shows that, in general, students are improving in their Spanish ability, but are showing mixed rates of improvement in their English. The author suggests other factors that may influence differences in scores may include the quality of instruction, mobility rate, the age of the child when they began to learn English, and external elements like parental involvement or the general health of the child on the day of the test.
Ramos de Viera, Ivelisse, "Language Acquisition: Does Ability in One Language Reflect Ability in Another?" (1992). Education and Human Development Master's Theses. 1386.