ERIC Number: ED307796
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
The Role of Mother Tongue Literacy in Third Language Learning.
Swain, Merrill; And Others
Several research and evaluation studies completed in bilingual education programs for language minority children in Canada are presented to support the claim that heritage, or first, language (HL) literacy plays an important role in the acquisition of a third language. A study completed by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education investigated the learning of a third language (French) by eighth grade HL students (N=210) who had been enrolled in an English/French bilingual program since grade five. The level of proficiency attained in French by the HL students was compared to the level of proficiency attained by students enrolled in an early total French immersion program. The research questions addressed included: (1) the effect of HL literacy knowledge on third language literacy; (2) the difference in acquisition of French language skills based on whether the HL is a Romance language; and (3) the effects of socioeconomic variables on French language proficiency. It is concluded that literacy in the HL enhances performance in third language learning. The implications of these findings as they relate to educational programs for HL children are discussed. (DJD)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education Programs, Case Studies, Comparative Analysis, English (Second Language), Foreign Countries, French, Grade 8, Immersion Programs, Junior High Schools, Language Proficiency, Language Research, Language Role, Language Skills, Literacy, Second Language Learning, Socioeconomic Background, Transfer of Training
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto.
Identifiers - Location: Canada