Third-grade students from were randomly assigned to receive 30-minute Spanish lessons three times a week for one semester. These lessons focused on oral-aural skills and were conducted entirely in Spanish. Students in the Spanish classes scored significantly higher than the group that did not receive Spanish instruction in math and language on the Metropolitan Achievement Test (MAT). There was no significant difference in reading scores.
Basic skills revisited: The effects of foreign language instruction on reading, math, and language arts. Learning Languages, 2(3), 20-31.
Armstrong, P. W., & Rogers, J. D. (1997).
This study describes the planning, development, implementation, and assessment of the foreign language magnet plan in schools in the Kansas City, Missouri Public School District. The program outcomes appeared to support the contentions found in research that, over time, second language learners (1) have improved test scores; (2) are able to think divergently; (3) achieve in their first language; and (4) attract and maintain parent involvement.
The foreign language immersion program in the Kansas City, Missouri Public Schools, 1986-1996 [Abstract]. Dissertation Abstracts International -A 58(10), 3838.
Cade, J. M. (1997).
This study looked at the effects of foreign language study on the verbal achievement of middle school students as measured by three subtests of the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills. The students were compared with students who did not have language study but were enrolled in the Challenge Reading program. The study concluded that performance in reading comprehension, language mechanics, and language expression was significantly higher in favor of the experimental group (foreign language study) when such variables as academic aptitude and level of performance in the treatment were statistically controlled.
The effect of middle school foreign language study on verbal achievement as measured by three subtests of the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills [Abstract]. Dissertation Abstracts International -A 55(07), 1856.
Carr, C.G. (1994).
This study looked at the effects of 20 minutes of daily Spanish instruction on academic achievement. Students were given the Iowa Every-Pupil Test of Basic Skills in September of students’ fourth and fifth grade years. Students receiving Spanish instruction scored higher than the control group in language skills, work study skills, and arithmetic, but the difference was not statistically significant. Likewise, the control group scored higher than the experimental group in reading vocabulary and reading comprehension, but differences were not significant. The author concludes that foreign language instruction does not hinder academic achievement.
The effect of foreign language instruction on basic learning in elementary schools: A second report. The Modern Language Journal, 47(1), 8-11.
Johnson, C. E., Flores, J. S., & Eillson, F. P. (1963).
In this pilot study, two third-grade classrooms were used to compare the effects of foreign language instruction on basic skills. One classroom received Spanish instruction for 25 minutes per day for the spring semester, while the other class followed the regular curriculum with no foreign language instruction. Analysis of the results showed the groups receiving language instruction had higher mean scores than the control group in arithmetic and English grammar, although their scores were slightly lower than the control group in English punctuation, comprehension, and vocabulary.
The effect of foreign language instruction on basic learning in elementary schools. The Modern Language Journal, 45(5), 200-202.
Johnson, C. E., Ellison, F. P., & Flores, J. S. (1961).
Classes from six schools were used with the experimental groups devoting 15 minutes per day to Spanish instruction over a three-year period. The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and the Stanford Social Studies test served as measurements. The conclusions drawn were (1) deletion of time from arithmetic, language and social studies had no detrimental effect upon measured achievement in subject areas from which the time was taken; (2) measured intelligence is positively correlated with measured achievement in the learning of Spanish.
The teaching of Spanish in the elementary schools and the effects on achievement in other selected subject areas., 100. from ERIC database.
Haak, L. A., & Leino, W. B. (1963).
114 third-grade students from four classrooms participated in this study. Students were “equated” for grade placement, age, intelligence, and socio-economic status, and teachers were “equated” for fluency in French. These experimental groups received daily 15-minute French lessons from their classroom teachers, who were both described as “fluent” in French. The French instruction was aural-oral and did not include reading or writing in the target language. The Stanford Achievement Test was given as a pre-test at the beginning of the school year, and an alternate form of the test was given at the end of the school year. At one of the school sites, the experimental group scored significantly higher than the control group on the average arithmetic scores, but not on average reading, spelling, or language. At the other school site, students receiving foreign language instruction scored significantly higher on the average arithmetic and spelling sections, but not the average reading or language sections of the test.
FLES and academic achievement. The French Review, 36(5), 499-507.
Lopato, E. W. (1963).
A statewide study in Louisiana revealed that third, fourth, and fifth graders who participated in 30-minute elementary school foreign language programs in the public schools showed significantly higher scores on the 1985 Basic Skills Language Arts Test than did a similar group that did not study a foreign language. Further, by fifth grade, the math scores of language students were also higher than those of students not studying a foreign language. Both groups were matched for race, sex, and grade level, and the academic levels of students in both groups were estimated by their previous Basic Skills Test results and statistically equated. The results of the analysis suggest that foreign language study in the lower grades helps students acquire English language arts skills and, by extension, math skills.
Second language study and basic skills in Louisiana. U.S.; Louisiana, from ERIC database.
Rafferty, E. A. (1986).
A project was begun in 1973 in the Indianapolis Public School system based on the hypothesis that English language skills and the control of syntactic structures can be measurably improved through participation in a specially designed Latin FLES program stressing the importance of Latin root words. Goals of the project were to assess whether or not the study of Latin and classical civilization will: (1) expand the verbal functioning of sixth grade children in English, and (2) broaden their cultural horizons and stimulate an interest in humanities. The project was directed towards approximately 400 sixth graders in six schools, all studying Latin and classical civilization in a program coordinated with their regular classes. They received a thirty-minute lesson each day 5 days per week taught by a Latin specialist. The present program evaluation report shows overall gains in word knowledge, reading, language, spelling, math computation, math concepts, math problem solving, and social studies after the first year, and gains in spelling, reading, and math concepts following the second and third years of the program, as seen from results on subtests of the Metropolitan Achievement Test.
Augmenting reading skills through language learning transfer. FLES Latin program evaluation reports, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1975-76.From ERID database.
Sheridan, R. (1976).
Compared the academic performance of 719 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd graders in a foreign language partial immersion program with that of 1,320 students in the same grades and with similar demographics, but not in an immersion program. Students were tested to determine performance in mathematics and English language arts, and oral proficiency in the target language (Japanese, Spanish, or French) was examined for immersion students. Immersion students scored at least as well, and to some extent better than, nonimmersion students. There was no evidence that the immersion experience hampered academic and cognitive development. In target language proficiency, immersion students made steady progress toward oral proficiency in the target language, reaching the upper end of the midlevel proficiency range by the end of the 2nd yr.
Academic achievement through Japanese, Spanish, or French: The first two years of partial immersion. Modern Language Journal, 77(2), 170-179. from PsycINFO database.
Thomas, W. P., Collier, V. P., & Abbott, M. (1993).
Assessed a Canadian French immersion program in which English-speaking pupils attending English schools are taught partially or completely in French. The program involved nearly 33% of the children who entered the Ottawapublic school system in kindergarten. Two groups were matched according to socioeconomic status characteristics and were generally from a middle to upper-middle-class background. Students were administered several measures including the Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test and Canadian Tests of Basic Skills. Only Grade 5 students were given the Metropolitan Science Test only. French immersion pupils were given a set of achievement tests in French and tests of reading comprehension in French. Results indicate that immersion group students were in general on the same level with or ahead of the regular English in most academic areas considered (e.g., work-study skills and mathematics) and were performing satisfactorily in French.
Evaluation of a French immersion program: The Ottawa study through grade five. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 10(3), 192-201. from PsycINFO database.
Barik, H. C., & Swain, M. (1978).
Examined the effectiveness of double-immersion (DI) programs in which English-speaking children receive curriculum instruction in 2 second languages (Hebrew and French) before or along with 1st-language instruction. French second-language proficiency of Grade 5 DI students was as good as that of comparable students in single-immersion programs in French only and better than that of non-immersion students with conventional French-as-a-second-language instruction. None of the DI groups showed deficits in 1st-language development or academic achievement.It is concluded that DI, especially if begun early, can be an effective means for English-speaking children to acquire functional proficiency in 2 non-native languages and that instruction in the 1st language in the beginning of the program has no long-term benefits to first-language development but may slow down second-language learning.
Trilingual education for majority-language children. Child Development, 54(1), 105-114. from PsycINFO database.
Genesee, F., & Lambert, W. E. (1983).
We analyzed data from Ontario's provincial testing program to ascertain if the reading, writing, and mathematics skills of grade 6 immersion students were comparable to those of regular English program students. The analysis confirms the results of earlier program evaluations that any lags in immersion students' achievement in reading, writing, and math disappear by grade 6. We offer two explanations to account for this result. The lag explanation holds that taking reading, writing, and math in French until the end of grade 3 creates a lag in achievement until English is introduced into the curriculum, after which immersion students catch up to regular students' performance. The selection explanation suggests that immersion test performance improves by grade 6 relative to regular English program counterparts because the composition of the grade 6 cohort is more select than that of earlier cohorts.