Perceptions of Puerto Rican college business students: The role of English in education, the labor market, and modernization

Carmen Rodriguez-Padilla, Fordham University

Abstract

This study was intended to generate data on the perceptions of Puerto Rican college business students regarding the role of English in education, the labor market, and in furthering the process of modernization. The research sample consisted of 400 ESL college students from the School of Business Administration taking Business English. The subjects' perceptions on the role of English in education, the labor market, and in the process of modernization were probed through a questionnaire entitled Perceptions of Puerto Rican College Business Students on the Role of English, specifically designed for this study.^ The research questions for the study had to do with students' perceptions of the role of English in education, the labor market, and in furthering the process of modernization and the relationship of these variables to type of school attended (public or private) and to self-perceived ability to understand, speak, read, and write English. The demographic characteristics for gender, age, father's education, mother's education, monthly income, and type of secondary school attended were assessed. In addition, the relationship between students' perceptions of the role of English and their use of English was also studied.^ Data were analyzed using correlated sample t tests for the question on differences in the students' perceptions of the role of English in education, the labor market, and the process of modernization. Students' perceptions of the role of English in education, the labor market, and modernization and self-perceived English proficiency were analyzed using Pearson product-moment correlations. Students' perceptions of the role of English in education, the labor market, and modernization and type of school attended were analyzed using independent sample t tests.^ The results of the study indicated that students perceive English to be most important in the labor market, next in education, and last in modernization; students' perceptions of the importance of English are not related to their self-perceived ability to understand, speak, read, and write English; public school graduates perceive English to be more important in education than private school graduates; students who watch TV in English perceive English to be more important in the process of modernization than those who watch TV in both English and Spanish and only in Spanish. ^

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Business education|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Rodriguez-Padilla, Carmen, "Perceptions of Puerto Rican college business students: The role of English in education, the labor market, and modernization" (1995). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9543460.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9543460

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