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Support for improving reading ability of a student, literate in a foreign language

Emina Begić (2014) Support for improving reading ability of a student, literate in a foreign language. Diploma thesis.

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    Many children are being educated in a foreign or second language due to the migration of their families, happening for different reasons. The acquisition of a second language at an early stage and literacy in a second language are paths to bilingualism. In Slovenia, children of immigrants, who decide to stay in the country permanently, are being educated in Slovene, which is the language of the environment and represents a second language to them. Children of immigrants, who stay in Slovenia for limited time, go to schools and learn in other foreign language, for example English and French. In practice I have met Slovene children who are learning literacy in the second or foreign language, English, which is not the language of the environment. Most of these families had been encouraging children to use English, starting in preschool age. Upon entering primary school children started with education in English. They follow lessons and learn in English, which is the language they use in social interactions as well. A couple of hours a week they have lessons in Slovene, their first language. It is important to emphasize that education and literacy in English is specific in Slovenia. I was interested in the path to bilingualism through education in a foreign language, which is not the language of the environment. The target of the research was the composition of support to improve reading ability of a student, learning literacy in a foreign language. In the empirical part, I checked students reading skills and strategies. She is learning literacy in a foreign language and developing reading in the first language. The tests were conducted in both languages and the results were compared. I have met with family and teachers to gain needed additional information about the student. Most students I have met were highly motivated to work on a computer. That has led me to composition of animated, interactive tasks, with instructions in English and Slovene. I have made tasks in accordance with the argument that if the teaching of a second language is effective in encouraging abilities in the first language, there will be a transfer to second language (Magajna, 1994). The results showed performance of the student in different areas (eg. visual and auditory discrimination, phonological awareness, reading skills, the use of semantic and syntactic key vocabulary). The results confirmed the hypothesis that the acquired visual literacy strategy in a second language affects reading in the first language and reading speed in second language. The results rejected the hypothesis that student’s speech and language abilities are more successful in one language. I have written down student’s strong and weak areas in Findings and made tasks for support. Interactive exercises encourage weak over the strong areas (eg. encourages tracking through visual memory). For further work, I proposed continuing with help in both languages and verifying the progress with the tests conducted in the study.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: literacy, foreign language, language of the environment, reading skills
    Number of Pages: 91
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Mojca Lipec StoparMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10138697)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2313
    Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2014 07:09
    Last Modified: 21 Aug 2014 07:09
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2313

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