This study examined the factors that best predict which elementary schoolchildren will ultimately transfer out of a French immersion program. At the end of one school year, French immersion teachers nominated poor-achieving students who might transfer to an English stream and who may elect not to leave the program. All of the children were immediately tested and parents and teachers were interviewed. The status of the project children was monitored over the next year to determine which children transferred to an English stream. Analysis of the pretransfer data indicated that although cognitive-academic variables may be necessary conditions for transfer, they are not sufficient conditions. Specifically, while the children who transferred experienced academic problems, these were no more severe than those of children who did not transfer. Rather, the transfer children were unique in terms of their poorer attitudes, motivations, and nonacademic behaviors. This pattern of results was found for the teacher, parent, and child data. The analyses suggest that attitudinal and motivational factors are of primary importance to the continuation of second-language study by young learners.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language