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Title: Language acquisition by a multicultural group : a comparative study of a sample of Jamaican, Greek, Turkish and British students attending a London College of Further Education in an attempt to assess their progress in achieving a command of Standard British English
Author: MacDonald, Monica I.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3615 0244
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1975
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This investigation compares the proficiency of Jamaican, Greek and Turkish-speaking, and British students in Standard British English and of the progress they make in improving their command of it. The main hypothesis to be tested is that West Indian students have as much difficulty in learning Standard British English as do students for whom English is a second or foreign language. During two academic sessions a battery of seven English tests, six of which were constructed specifically for the purposes of the investigation, were administered to a sample of 234 Jamaican, Greek, Turkish and British students following full-time courses in a London College for Further Education. Two of the tests were readministered and difference scores calculated. In addition the sample completed standardised verbal and non-verbal intelligence tests and a test of listening discrimination which was also specifically constructed for the investigation. Information on the sample's educational, social and linguistic background was collected by means of a questionnaire completed during individual interviews. Following computer analysis of two of the English tests, the subsamples' performance on the English Test Battery and on the intelligence and Listening Discrimination tests were compared by t and median tests; the relationship between the background variables and test performances was investigated by t-tests and correlation in an attempt to determine the factors responsible for variation between the subsamples' initial proficiency and progress in Standard British English as measured by the English Test Battery. The results are not conclusive but the statistical analysis suggests that the Jamaican subsample performed less well than the other subsamples on the criterion and the independent variable tests and that none of the subsamples, whatever their origins, made any significant progress in improving their command of Standard British English. The data was not suitable for analysis of co-variance but results indicate a possible significant relationship between the Jamaican subsample's performance on the criterion tests and their performance on the independent variable tests, the length and level of their education in Britain and the degree of urbanization in their backgrounds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available