The effect of dual -language instruction on academic achievement as measured by the SAT: An evaluation of the "International Studies Program" of Miami -Dade County Public Schools

Consuelo Conde Morencia, Florida International University

Abstract

This study investigated the influence that receiving instruction in two languages, English and Spanish, had on the performance of students enrolled in the International Studies Program (delayed partial immersion model) of Miami Dade County Public Schools on a standardized test in English, the Stanford Achievement Test, eighth edition, for three of its sections, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Computations, and Mathematics Applications.^ The performance of the selected IS program/Spanish section cohort of students (N = 55) on the SAT Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Computation, and Mathematics Application along four consecutive years was contrasted with that of a control group of comparable students selected within the same feeder pattern where the IS program is implemented (N = 21). The performance of the group was also compared to the cross-sectional achievement patterns of the school's corresponding feeder pattern, region, and district.^ The research model for the study was a variation of the "causal-comparative" or "ex post facto design" sometimes referred to as "prospective". After data were collected from MDCPS, t-tests were performed to compare IS-Spanish students SAT performance for grades 3 to 6 for years 1994 to 1997 to control group, feeder pattern, region and district norms for each year for Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Computation, and Mathematics Applications. Repeated measures ANOVA and Tukey's tests were calculated to compare the mean percentiles of the groups under study and the possible interactions of the different variables. All tests were performed at the 5% significance level.^ From the analyses of the tests it was deduced that the IS group performed significantly better than the control group for all the three measures along the four years. The IS group mean percentiles on the three measures were also significantly higher than those of the feeder pattern, region, and district. The null hypotheses were rejected and it was concluded that receiving instruction in two languages did not negatively affect the performance of IS program students on tests taken in English. It was also concluded that the particular design the IS program enhances the general performance of participant students on Standardized tests.^ The quantitative analyses were coupled with interviews from teachers and administrators of the IS program to gain additional insight about different aspects of the implementation of the program at each particular school. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Tests and Measurements|Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Consuelo Conde Morencia, "The effect of dual -language instruction on academic achievement as measured by the SAT: An evaluation of the "International Studies Program" of Miami -Dade County Public Schools" (January 1, 1998). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. Paper AAI9903323.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI9903323

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