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Record identifier : 568993
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Kulatilake, Samantha Yuka Matsuda
Title and statement of responsibility : A multiple case study analysis of immersion education in Sri Lanka [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : Boston University, 2009
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ed.D
Body granting the degree : , Boston University
Summary or Abstract : Immersion education, a method of bilingual schooling whereby students are "immersed" in their second language, has proved to be extremely successful and is now prevalent globally. However, the immersion programs operating in Sri Lanka differ from traditional immersion models in several ways, which calls into question their effectiveness at fostering student competencies in both the L1 (Sinhala) and L2 (English). These programs have never been evaluated although such research is critical with present day globalization increasing the spread of internationally prestigious languages, sometimes at the expense of native languages.This study reports on a summative evaluation that examined the characteristics of two English immersion programs in Sri Lanka and assessed the L1 and L2 academic/conversational proficiencies of Sinhala-background students in comparison to similar students attending two native-language medium schools. The student sample consisted of three intact (grade 4, 6, and 9) classes from four different schools. Quantitative data were collected through student background questionnaires, IQ tests, and academic/conversational proficiency measures in Sinhala and English. Qualitative data were gathered through classroom observations and student/teacher interviews.Overall, the immersion students did significantly better than their non-immersion counterparts in both spoken and written English, and performed the same in Sinhala spoken skills, but lagged behind in Sinhala writing skills. These results suggest that a submersion-like situation might prevail in the immersion schools where a limited emphasis is placed on the acquisition of academic proficiency in the native language. The immersion students also had negative attitudes and displayed less motivation towards learning their native language than the non-immersion students. Additionally, the classroom observations revealed that the immersion programs did not foster a rich communicative environment maximizing production of the target language.Several recommendations, based on immersion and submersion studies, have been suggested to address these findings. By introducing content and cultural lessons in the native language, training teachers in communicative classroom strategies, conducting awareness seminars for parents, and affording an equal status in the school environment for the native language, the Sri Lankan immersion schools can begin to reverse the pattern of subtractive bilingualism and thereby ensure a truly bilingual education for all students..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Bilingual education
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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