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ERIC Number: ED519738
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 251
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-2126-7
A Longitudinal Study of Early English Immersion and Literacy in Xi'an, China
Knell, Ellen Shipley
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Utah
The present study investigated the efficacy of early English immersion in the Shi Da Fu Elementary School in Xi'an, China. Three hundred and fifty one students were tested in Grades 1-6. There were two main purposes that motivated this longitudinal and cross-sectional study. The first goal was to compare the L1 and L2 language and literacy performances of the immersion students to a comparable group of children who attended the same school and were taking English as a core subject. The second purpose was to investigate which variables successfully predicted L2 English word identification and reading comprehension for the combined group of students. After pretest scores were controlled, it was found that the immersion students significantly performed at a higher level than the nonimmersion students on measures of oral language proficiency, vocabulary, phonological awareness, pseudoword decoding, reading identification, and reading comprehension, but there were no significant differences on measures of alphabet recognition, morphological awareness, or written grammar. There were particularly large differences for oral language proficiency and reading comprehension, favoring the immersion students. There were no differences between the groups on Chinese literacy measures, indicating that the program was an additive bilingual system and did not subtract from L1 literacy. The results from the regression analyses showed that literacy precursor variables that help to decode English words such as phonological awareness and pseudoword decoding ability were the best predictors of both word identification and reading comprehension in the early grades. Oral language proficiency and vocabulary became increasingly important in the upper grades, particularly in relation to reading comprehension. The results of the study suggest that instructional methods that emphasize the teaching of sound-symbol correspondences and phonological awareness may be helpful for the students and should be the focus of future experimental research. These study results have the potential to contribute to the debate about the feasibility and effectiveness of early English education in China and the ways that immersion programs change and adapt to meet local educational constraints and needs. [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: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China