Towards the development of exit criteria for a Newcomer Center: Investigating the relationship between affective variables and the acquisition of English as a second language

Samantha Ann Gambino, Pace University

Abstract

This study sought to investigate the relationship between affective variables (acculturation, acculturative stress, self-concept, and social academic attitude) and second language acquisition in an immigrant population. These relationships were further analyzed to determine their feasibility as exit criteria for a Newcomer Center, an innovative program designed to meet the unique educational and socio-emotional needs of immigrant students. Given the overwhelming number of immigrant students entering the school system and struggling with the task of second language acquisition, it is imperative that programs aimed at facilitating this task have well implemented exit criteria in order to ensure the effectiveness of the program. ^ Measurements were obtained for 31 immigrant, Spanish-speaking children who were enrolled in the Newcomer Center. The Language Assessment Battery and the Bilingual Verbal Ability Test were utilized to measure English language acquisition. The Children's Hispanic Background Scale and the Societal, Attitudinal, Familial, and Environmental Acculturative Stress Scale for Children were utilized to assess acculturation. The Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale was used to assess self-concept. A program made Social Academic Attitude Scale was administered to assess attitude. Each measure was completed at two points during the year. A program made Parent Satisfaction Survey was used to assess parent satisfaction with the program. ^ To examine the relationship between affective variables and English language proficiency, correlational and casewise deletion analyses were performed. A significant relationship was found between the Children's Hispanic Background Scale and English language proficiency, as assessed by the Language Assessment Battery. There was a significant negative correlation between the Social Academic Attitude Scale and English language proficiency, as measured by the Language Assessment Battery. ^ In terms of the Newcomer Center, the results of this study indicated that the program excited children whose English language proficiency developed rapidly and who had a positive attitude toward social and academic tasks. It was not possible, based on the findings of this study, to develop exit criteria for the program. The difficulties with establishing exit criteria are discussed and suggestions for the Newcomer Center are provided. ^

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature|Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Psychometrics

Recommended Citation

Samantha Ann Gambino, "Towards the development of exit criteria for a Newcomer Center: Investigating the relationship between affective variables and the acquisition of English as a second language" (January 1, 2001). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI3002143.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI3002143

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