ERIC Number: ED245567
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
English-as-a-Second-Language Programs in the Army.
Oxford-Carpenter, Rebecca; And Others
Three Army programs in English as a second language (ESL) are evaluated. The programs had lengths of 3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 6 months. The evaluation was carried out with a standardized group test of English comprehension, an individually administered test of oral proficiency, questionnaires, observations, followup questionnaires and tests, informal techniques, and curriculum analysis. Most of the soldiers in the programs were well-educated Puerto Ricans with weak oral English skills. The programs' length and content varied widely. All three produced gains in English proficiency, with gains increasing with the program length. ESL training was found to be positively related to lowering of attrition rates. Although ESL participants generally liked their programs and teachers, they felt the need for more practice in conversational skills. Supervisors were generally supportive of the programs and made qualitative decisions between soldiers scoring 50 or more and those scoring less than 50 on the standardized test. Evaluation results suggest a need for greater emphasis on spoken English, more realistic expectations of what can be accomplished in a short time, and systematic training of Army ESL teachers. The need for ESL in the Army is affirmed, and the possible lowering of the current criterion of language proficiency is discussed. (MSE)
Descriptors: Armed Forces, Educational Needs, English (Second Language), Intensive Language Courses, Limited English Speaking, Military Training, Program Descriptions, Program Evaluation, Puerto Ricans, Second Language Instruction, Speech Skills, Standardized Tests, Student Attitudes, Time Factors (Learning)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Army Research Inst. for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC.