WWC review of this study

Individual differences in second language learning of Korean immigrant students.

Jun-Aust, H. (1985, March). Paper presented at the International Conference on Second/Foreign Language Acquisition by Children, Oklahoma City, OK. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED256156

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    30
     Students
    , grades
    1-6
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: July 2007

English language development outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Language behavior- addressed from subject to peer

Peer Tutoring and Response Groups vs. Business as usual

After 4 1/2 months

Grades 1–6;
30 students

11.6

2.9

Yes

 
 
48
More Outcomes

Language behavior –talking to peer

Peer Tutoring and Response Groups vs. Business as usual

After 4 1/2 months

Grades 1–6;
30 students

14

5.35

Yes

 
 
41

Listening comprehension

Peer Tutoring and Response Groups vs. Business as usual

After 4 1/2 months

Grades 1–6;
30 students

9

7.7

No

 
 
19

Oral language production

Peer Tutoring and Response Groups vs. Business as usual

After 4 1/2 months

Grades 1–6;
30 students

20.8

17.8

No

 
 
18

Language behavior– talking to teacher

Peer Tutoring and Response Groups vs. Business as usual

After 4 1/2 months

Grades 1–6;
30 students

1.05

0.9

No

--

Language behavior –addressed from teacher to subject

Peer Tutoring and Response Groups vs. Business as usual

After 4 1/2 months

Grades 1–6;
30 students

0.45

0.5

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 100% English language learners
  • Race
    Asian
    100%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    0%
    Not Hispanic
    100%
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    Washington

Setting

The study took place at two elementary schools located seven blocks apart in the Tacoma Public School District in Tacoma, Washington.

Study sample

The study included 30 Korean English language learners in grades 1–6. All students participated in “pull-out” bilingual education conducted by English-speaking Korean teachers. Students who qualified for the study were identified as limited English proficient on the school district’s language proficiency test (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, PPVT) and on a reassessment of the PPVT just before the study began, scoring at or below the 20th percentile. All participating students were also recent immigrants to the United States (less than six months). Classes of students were randomly assigned into peer-pairing or non-peer-pairing conditions to avoid placing children from the same class in the intervention and comparison groups.

Intervention Group

The 14 Korean students in the intervention group participated in a 4.5-month peer-pairing program designed to increase social interaction, language development, and listening comprehension skills. When they started the program, the Korean students were asked to identify an English-speaking child from their classes with whom they would want to work. The chosen peers were then seated together by their classroom teachers, who asked the English-speaking peers to help the Korean students by explaining English to them, answering their questions, or being their friends.

Comparison Group

The 16 students in the comparison condition continued to participate in all regular classroom activities without the peer-pair program or teacher prompts to help peers learn English.

Outcome descriptions

The primary outcomes were listening comprehension, oral language production, and actual classroom language behavior. Listening comprehension was measured by a researcher-developed assessment that required the student to listen to an audio tape of a monolingual English speaker and answer questions about daily tasks and Korean culture. Oral language production was assessed by asking students to tell stories in English about two pictures. Responses were audiotaped and scored according to a five-point rubric. Actual language behavior was evaluated with an event sampling classroom observation system that recorded when a target student was talking to or being addressed by a peer or the teacher.

Support for implementation

Teachers attended a meeting that discussed second language learning and the purpose of using peer-pairs in the classroom and provided an operational definition of the concept. During the meeting teachers matched pairs according to the Korean student requests and created a new classroom seating chart for the pairs. Teachers were also instructed specifically to tell American peers to help their Korean peers to learn English by explaining to them, answering their questions, or just being friends (Jun-Aust, 1985, p. 14).

 

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