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Reading literacy linked to bilingualism in 4th grade elementary school Slovenian language classes

Eva Kreže (2022) Reading literacy linked to bilingualism in 4th grade elementary school Slovenian language classes. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    We live at a time of increased internationalisation and mass migrations, resulting in the increase in bilingualism, which is becoming a certain norm in the modern society. In the Republic of Slovenia, the population of bilingual children is growing, and compared to previous years, changes in linguistic composition of pupils attending elementary school are starting to take place. According to recent data and immigration trends, experts believe that the proportion of those whose first language is Slovenian will further decrease in the next few years. In the Republic of Slovenia, education institutions have been recently focusing to plan the inclusion of immigrant children in the educational system, as during this process, pupils whose first language is not the language of instruction struggle because they are not fluent enough in the language of instruction compared to their peers. This consequently results in poorer development of reading literacy, which is the main element and basis for most of the other types of literacy and activities. For this purpose, this master's thesis studies reading literacy linked to bilingualism in Slovenian language classes in the fourth grade of elementary school. In the theoretical part, we presented and described languages and their status in Slovenia. After defining bilingualism and reading literacy, we portrayed learning processes, processes of learning the first and the second languages, reading development models and reading literacy development. We presented findings of previous Slovenian and foreign studies in this field as well as projects encouraging reading literacy. For this master's thesis, we drew up a survey and a reading literacy test, which were completed by 52 monolingual and 50 bilingual fourth-grade pupils attending elementary school. By conducting this research, we tried to gain insight into reading habits of fourth-graders, their attitude towards reading, problems related to Slovenian language classes, self-assessment of reading literacy and performance on the reading literacy test. Based on the comparison of our results, we studied basic differences between monolingual and bilingual fourth-graders in this field. According to a statistical data analysis, most fourth-graders daily devote less than 30 minutes of their free time to reading, even though most of them have a positive attitude towards reading, borrowing books and discussing what was read. Based on the result analysis, we noticed that bilingual fourth-graders attending elementary school face bigger problems in Slovenian language classes than their peers. Their self-assessment of their reading capabilities is quite low as well. Assessing performance on the reading literacy test, we realised that monolingual pupils achieve on average better results both in the field of literature and language. The analysis of performance on the reading literacy test also showed that monolingual students obtained a third more points than bilingual students. By studying literature and considering findings of this research, we drew up guidelines and recommendations for effective teaching of bilingual students whose first language is not the language of instruction. These guidelines, which act as a framework for working with bilingual students, may be helpful for Slovenian teachers.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: bilingualism, reading literacy, linguistic capabilities, reading, fourth-grade pupils, Slovenian language
    Number of Pages: 90
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Tomaž PetekMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/97749763
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 7106
    Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2022 08:01
    Last Modified: 18 Feb 2022 08:01
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/7106

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