Date of Award

12-1993

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not students of linguistically diverse backgrounds tend to have lower self-concepts, particularly in the academic setting, than those students who are from "standard" English linguistic backgrounds. This study took into account the students' linguistic backgrounds; the language most frequently used in the home, whether it is "standard" English, Black English, Spanish, or any other language. It was the premise of this researcher that if a child's first language or dialect deviates from the "standard," which is typically valued and emphasized in the classroom and the society at large, then those students who deviate from the educators' norms will tend to have lower self-concepts. The researcher used the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale to assess 87 fourth and fifth grade students from a magnet elementary school within the Rochester City School district.

The results of this study indicated that there exists no significant relationship between language variation and one's self-concept. It is possible that these results are due to a skewed population since the sample only included students from one school, which is a magnet school. This study merits further examination with a larger, random sample of participants.

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