ERIC Number: ED344468
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
"How Many Years Do You Have?" English Language Skills Evaluation. A Final Report of the Threshold Project.
Macdonald, C. A.
The Threshold Project examined the nature of the language and learning difficulties that black Standard Three (Std 3, or grade 5) children in South Africa experience when they change from their mother tongue to English as a medium of instruction and learning, a policy known as "delayed immersion." This report focuses on the first major objective of the project; i.e, to establish the nature and extent of the linguistic abilities of the black pupils in Std 3, together with a further analysis of the pupils' learning needs. An overview of the history of language testing is first presented, and then the testing conducted during the course of the project is described. Results of an extensive array of specially designed tests showed that the present generation of junior primary children cannot handle the medium transfer. The results of the testing are examined within the larger parameters of the curriculum. The second part of this report describes the nature of the learning task the child faces, with reference to recent trends in bilingual education, the development of communicative language skills in a second language, and the implications for in-service teacher education. Finally, an analysis is presented of what the implications of having different language policies would be on present attempts at curriculum revision. Recommended areas for future research are offered. Contains approximately 100 references. (LB)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Black Youth, Curriculum Development, Educational Policy, English (Second Language), Foreign Countries, Grade 5, Immersion Programs, Inservice Teacher Education, Intermediate Grades, Language of Instruction, Language Tests, Listening Skills, Native Speakers, Psycholinguistics, Reading Skills, Second Language Learning, Sociolinguistics, Writing Skills, Young Children
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria (South Africa).
Identifiers - Location: South Africa