ERIC Number: ED249797
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Dec
Reference Count: 0
A Study of the Effects of English-Medium Education on Initially Monoglot Spanish-Speaking Gibraltarian Children.
Ballantine, Sergius J.
This investigation arose from concern about the linguistic and educational development of several dozen students aged 12-14 from the English comprehensive secondary schools in Gibraltar. These students, whose dominant language was Yanito-Spanish (the local vernacular), were administered a series of assessment measures. These included: (1) a word association task to determine whether the learning situation was conducive to stable or unstable bilingualism, (2) a word naming test to assess the use of the two languages, (3) a picture naming test to assess the children's ability to produce one-word and one-sentence utterances following a visual stimulus, (4) a picture composition test to assess the quality of language use in both languages, and (5) a test of linguistic-cognitive flexibility. In addition, statistical analyses of results of standard public examinations administered to Gibraltarian students 16 and older between 1977 and 1982 were used to investigate a possible link between language development and educational attainment. The results indicate that the students encounter linguistic difficulties related to vagueness of lexical distinctions, lack of competence in performance, interference between languages and the use of nonnativelike strategies, and phonomorphological incompetence, resulting in delayed linguistic development. It was also found that these children had more difficulty with language-based subjects than with mathematics and other technical subjects and that many of the children had limited flexibility and cognitive development and had not reached the level of bilingualism at which they can begin to attain its benefits. A bilingual educational system is recommended for Gibraltar to accommodate the bilingual community. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Gibraltar; Spanish (Yanito)
Note: Master's Thesis, University of Wales.