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ERIC Number: ED377703
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Pages: 50
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Worlds Together...Words Apart: An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Arts-Based Curriculum for Second Language Learners.
Spina, Stephanie Urso
The objective of this study is to assess whether arts-based curriculum facilitates the acquisition of English as a Second Language without sacrificing proficiency in the first language (in this case, Spanish). The paper has two chief parts, one theoretical, the other empirical. In the first part, similarities between authentic arts-based curriculum and Vygotskian theory are examined in five sections dealing with: (1) the authenticity of the art experience; (2) the emphasis on social interaction; (3) the developmental interplay among sign systems; (4) the role of play and imagination in development and learning; and (5) the effort to overcome the dualism inherent in the separation of object and subject. For each of these themes, related research is examined. The second part discusses a 1993 study involving two fifth-grade classes in an urban Chapter 1 school. One of these classes, with 33 pupils, used an arts based instructional model; the other, with 30 pupils, served as a comparison group. All students were involved in English-as-a-Second-Language learning and all came from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. Students in the first group attended the arts based classes twice a week for 5-6 hours weekly; of this group, 12 had been in the program in the previous year (1992). Scores on achievement batteries were treated as pre- and post-test data. Characteristics of the two classes were matched according to grade level, home language, native language ability, and SES level. Data was collected by means of on-site observations, audio-recordings, and teacher questionnaires and interviews. In general, findings support the use of the arts based approach for second language learners; however, several important questions emerged and much research remains to be done. Two teacher questionnaires and 10 tables comparing 1992 and 1993 English and reading scores are appended. (Contains 85 references.) (LR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A