ERIC Number: ED445868
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Measuring Language Dominance and Bilingual Proficiency Development of Tarahumara Children.
This paper examines the language dominance and oral bilingual proficiency of Tarahumara-Spanish speaking students from Chihuahua, Mexico, within the framework of Cummins' model of bilingual proficiency development. Cummins' model distinguishes between basic interpersonal communicative skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP). The children in this study lived in a Tarahumara village and attended a weekday boarding school in which Spanish was the language of instruction and Tarahumara was used as a support in the classroom. Bilingual interviews were conducted with 66 children in grades 1-6 using the Entrevista Bilingue, in which picture stories elicited bilingual dialogue and served as the basis for free narration tasks. Data analysis showed that 29 percent of the children were bilingual, Tarahumara-dominant, and 64 percent were balanced bilinguals who showed comparable, advanced or native-like levels of conversational proficiency and minimally acceptable text production in both languages. The results indicate that exposure to Spanish-only instruction did not result in attrition of Tarahumara conversational proficiency. Findings also indicate that the constructs of BICS, CALP, and language interdependence in the oral domain are applicable to a context of diglossia, and that the Entrevista Bilingue can be a useful tool for teachers. (Contains 20 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: American Indian Students, Bilingual Students, Bilingualism, Diglossia, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Foreign Countries, Language Dominance, Language Proficiency, Mexicans
Full text at Web site: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/LIB/LIB5.html.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico