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Starting English early with songs and stories: Are there measurable benefits in oral performance at the end of elementary school?

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Starting English early with songs and stories: Are there measurable benefits in oral performance at the end of elementary school?

Duguay, Hélène (2015) Starting English early with songs and stories: Are there measurable benefits in oral performance at the end of elementary school? Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT
Starting English early with songs and stories:
Are there measurable benefits in oral performance at the end of elementary school?
Hélène Duguay
This study investigates the measurable long-term effects of starting to learn English at a young age in a school context. It compares francophone learners, Early Starters (ESs), who began to learn English in grade one (age six), with Late Starters (LSs), who were introduced to English as a second language (ESL) in grade four (age nine). Other differences between the groups besides starting age, include the total amount of instructional time for English in elementary school; the distribution of that instructional time and the pedagogical approach involving songs and stories followed during the first two years of instruction. The study addresses the following broad questions: 1) At the end of grade six, is there a difference in oral fluency between ESs and LSs in two instructional contexts, regular and intensive ESL? 2) At the end of grade six, are there identifiable differences in discourse between ESs and LSs after regular and intensive ESL instruction?
Rating scale scores on two oral tasks from White & Turner (2005) show a clear trend for both regular and intensive ESs to outperform LSs though this finding was stronger in the regular ESL group. The discourse analyses point towards a tendency for ESs to produce more comprehensible ideas, more English words, and use more grammatical categories than LS. Thus the additional hours in elementary school in grades one and two seem to have had a positive impact on students’ oral performance at the end of grade six. Limitations include confound between amount of instructional time and type of pedagogy, and the absence of a control group.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Duguay, Hélène
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Applied Linguistics
Date:31 August 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):White, Joanna
ID Code:980370
Deposited By: HELENE DUGUAY
Deposited On:26 Oct 2015 18:44
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:51
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