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ERIC Number: ED516099
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 257
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-2857-6
A Mixed Methodological Study of Factors Contributing to Student Persistence and Their Impact on Student Attrition in Foreign Language Immersion Programs
Boudreaux, Nicole S.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
In the United States, foreign language immersion programs are K-8 voluntary programs wherein children are instructed in the core subjects in a language other than English. While these programs are quite popular, many parents, having chosen immersion for their child's education, change their minds and transfer their child into a "regular" non-immersion program. What factors guide parents' decisions to enroll their child, keep him in, or withdraw him from a foreign language immersion program? Because student attrition is detrimental both for the student (Wiss, 1989) and the institution he leaves (Louisiana Consortium of Immersion Schools, 2006), it is equally important for researchers and school administrators to explore the extent of the phenomenon, investigate the reasons for student withdrawal from foreign language immersion programs, and attempt to identify trends within these reasons. Research from higher education (Tinto, 1973) offers an attrition/persistence model transferable to the immersion setting that was adapted to examine student attrition issues in a large French immersion program located in Southwestern Louisiana, through both withdrawal and persistence aspects. In this mixed methods approach, quantitative findings indicated an attrition rate lower than those cited in the literature and identified trends in student withdrawal linked to academic difficulties in lower grades, and to school site issues and student socio-economic status (SES) in upper grades. However, correlations found between satisfaction with the program and other factors identified by Tinto as instrumental in the decision of withdrawal or persistence were very small and of little practical significance. In parallel, the qualitative study unveiled misconceptions of the program among some parents who, while agreeing with the three official goals of the program, tended to adapt them to their own objectives. However, the study also underlined a highly emotional satisfaction level among persisting students' parents. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana