Instruction: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives

By Ronna F. Dillon; James W. Pellegrino | Go to book overview

4 An Experimental Investigation of Text Comprehension Processes in Bilinguals: Implications for Training
Frederick R. Chang
I. Introduction
II. Experiment 1: Distribution of Attention across Words in a Text
A. Method
B. Results and Discussion
III. Experiment 2: Integration of Information across Sentences in a Text
A. Method
B. Results and Discussion
IV. Conclusions
V. References

INTRODUCTION

It is now quite well known from demographic projections that there will be an increase in the number of individuals in the United States who speak English as a second language (ESL). The projected increase will extend into the next century and will have a profound impact on the educational system in this country. The Navy, and the Armed Services in general, recognize that the increase has important implications for military training and manpower programs. The Hispanic population, for example, is young and growing (from 7 percent of the U.S. population of 18-35 year old males in 1980 to a projected 10.8 percent in the year 2000) whereas the overall U.S. population is older and decreasing ( Oxford- Carpenter , Pol, & Gendell, 1983).

Recruits who speak English as a second language are a potentially valuable source of capable personnel. As personnel specialists have noted, the acculturation of Hispanic families in particular has often promoted patriotism, hard work, and respect for authority. Moreover, ESL personnel have a generally high level of motivation ( Holland, Rosenbaum, Stoddart, & Redish, 1982).

____________________
The views and conclusions contained in this chapter are those of the author and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Department of the Navy or Defense.

I am grateful to Cosette Lare for assistance in all phases of this research. I am also grateful to Tom Sticht, Ed Aiken, and Bill Montague for useful comments throughout this research.

-71-

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