Relation between language proficiency, retention and the medium of instruction in primary schools
The relation between learning and the medium of instruction was investigated. The practical interest was in the effectiveness of bilingual primary education in Hong Kong. 15 Primary 6 pupils selected from a bilingual school were matched to another 15 from a monolingual school on the variables of sex, age, father's occupation and non-verbal intelligence. From the same bilingual school, a group of 20 'low ability' pupils were also included in the study. An experimental teaching unit in both the Chinese and English versions was devised and administered to the pupils, and the amount of learning was assessed by scores on the detention Test minus those on the Pretest. Monolingual pupils and the 20 'low ability' bilingual pupils received the teaching unit and the tests in Chinese while the other 15 bilingual pupils received the English version. The expectations were that monolingual pupils would learn more than bilingual pupils of similar ability and that 'low ability' bilingual pupils would learn as much as the 'high ability' bilingual oMC owing to the compensatory effect of learning through their stronger language. Both expectations were confirmed. Thus, for the groups studied, Chine-re, their native language, was more effective as a medium of. instruction. The implication was that the crgamr-aticn of the bilingual primary program of the school studied and bilingual programs in Hong Kong in general needs to be evaluated against language learning principles.
School:The University of Hong Kong
School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:language acquisition and education china hong kong
Date of Publication:01/01/1983