ERIC Number: ED262560
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jul
Reference Count: 0
An Exploratory Study of the Hypothesis of Divisible versus Unitary Competence in Second Language Proficiency.
Barbour, Ross Patrick
The question of dividing language proficiency into components was explored by determining which of three models best fit the experimental data: a model postulating numerous specific sources of variance (the extreme divisible model), one postulating a single, large source of variance (the unitary model), or one postulating a large general factor and several smaller specific factors. Four measures with clear contrasts in content and mode were constructed and used to identify linguistic and method variance in a correlation matrix of language proficiency variables. The four measures were administered, along with eight other language measures, to a group of beginning-level learners of English as a second language. Factor analysis and comparison with demographic data were performed on the data. The findings suggest that the language proficiency data were best modeled by a large general factor and two specific, content-related factors--grammar and vocabulary. The possibility of specific factors related to mode was not ruled out. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master's thesis, The University of British Columbia.