Monolingual and Bilingual English Learners in one Classroom: Who is at a Disadvantage?

| September 26, 2008
Monolingual and Bilingual English Learners in one Classroom: Who is at a Disadvantage?

Keywords: Linguality, reading comprehension, language proficiency

Seyed Hassan Talebi and Mojtaba Maghsuodi
University of Mysore, India

Bio Data
Seyed Hassan Talebi is a Ph.D. student at Mysore University in India. His main areas of research include transfer of reading strategies across languages, cooperative reading, strategic autonomous readers, and bilingualism and linguality of the learners.

Mojtaba Maghsuodi is a Ph.D. candidate in TEFL at Mysore University, India. He has published articles in the area of TEFL and the impact of bilingualism and additional language acquisition. His research interests lie in Second Language Teaching and Learning and bilingualism, as well as the strategic reading behaviour of ESL learners.

As Cook (2004) states learning another language does seem to change people’s ‘thinking’ to some extent. This study intends to investigate how monolingual and bilingual ESL learners perform on reading comprehension tests in mixed-mono/bilingual classrooms. To this end the interaction between mono/bilinguality with gender and reading ability in respect to general English proficiency has been taken into account. As data analysis indicated, mono and bilingual students differed significantly in their reading comprehension scores and also the interaction effect between linguality and proficiency was found to be significant, indicating that reading comprehension scores were different for students with low and high proficiency in different linguality backgrounds. On the other hand, male and female students had statistically equal reading comprehension scores. Further, the interaction effect between linguality and gender is found to be non-significant. Therefore, it was concluded that monolingual students need to be provided with more consideration so that they may not lag behind their bilingual peers in reading comprehension tasks in mixed-mono/bilingual classrooms.

See page 199-214

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