RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MOTHERS' LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY AND CHILDREN'S LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY IN THE FIRST AND SECOND LANGUAGES (BILINGUAL)

GLADYS BRANLY GUARTON, Fordham University

Abstract

The central purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between monolingual mothers' Spanish language proficiency and their children's language proficiency in both English and Spanish. The children were 20 second graders and 20 fourth graders in a bilingual public school serving a predominantly low SES population.^ Language proficiency was conceptualized as cognitive/academic language proficiency (CALP), a construct formulated by Cummins (1980) that refers to that aspect of language which correlates with IQ and academic achievement. It was measured by Spanish oral cloze tests given to the mothers, and oral cloze tests and reading achievement tests in both English and Spanish, administered to the children.^ The results of a repeated measures ANOVA indicated that children whose mothers scored high on the Spanish measure of language proficiency scored significantly higher on all Spanish and English language proficiency measures than those children whose mothers scored low on the Spanish measure of language proficiency. There was no difference by grade in this relationship.^ The distinction between cognitive/academic language proficiency (CALP) and basic interpersonal communicative skills (BICS), the second language aspect postulated by Cummins, was also investigated. BICS refers to that aspect of language which everybody learns, with the exception of autistic and severely retarded children. The latter was measured by teachers' ratings of children's oral fluency. The results failed to corroborate the distinction between CALP and BICS. Children who scored high or low on language proficiency measures scored similarly high or low on the oral fluency measures. It was suggested that the instrument used to measure children's BICS may not have been sufficiently sensitive to differences among the children's competence in BICS. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

GUARTON, GLADYS BRANLY, "RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MOTHERS' LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY AND CHILDREN'S LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY IN THE FIRST AND SECOND LANGUAGES (BILINGUAL)" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8508117.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8508117

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