| || || Fujioka-Kern, Yoko.|
| || || The effect of first language maintenance on successful English and academic achievement among students in Fiji|
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Native language and education -- Fiji, Academic achievement -- Effect of native language on -- Fiji, Education, Bilingual -- Fiji, Academic achievement -- Fiji
Call No.: pac LC 201 .7 .F5 F84
Copyright:Over 80% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: A poor standard of English, despite a long history of English education in the Pacific Island nations has been an issue for some years. This study aims to determine whether or not literacy related skills in LI have an effect in learning English as a second language successfully, which further affects overall academic achievement among secondary school students in Fiji. It also describes the present status of the first language (LI) among school children in Fiji. Research Questions: 1. Is there a relationship between literacy related skills in LI and successful English and academic achievement through English among students in Suva secondary schools? 2. Do students with the literacy skills in LI learn better than those without such skills? How does this apply to those with learning difficulties? From 17 secondary schools in Suva, 2,092 Form Four students were chosen from two major ethnic groups, Fijians and Indians and divided into six groups according to their LI learning experience in school. Vernacular, English, and overall marks from the 1993 Fiji Junior Certificate Examination results were collected from respective subjects. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and correlational analyses were used to determine the statistical significance of the findings. The two ethnic groups show a different pattern in their results. More Fijian than Indian students are drifting away from their LI to study in a better ranked school and to achieve better academic performance. In the case of Indian students, there is a very obvious effect of literacy related skills in LI on English performance as well as on overall academic achievement, whereas the Fijian students who had LI learning experience scored lower marks in both English and overall academic achievement than those who did not study LI and thus showed no effect of LI learning. Correlation coefficients suggest that there is a statistically significant correlation between the literacy in LI and that in L2 for all the Indian students and the successful Fijian students. Correlation coefficients also suggest that there is a statistically significant correlation between literacy in LI and overall academic achievement for all the Fijian and Indian groups tested. Therefore the importance of LI literacy related skills should be reconsidered in school settings in Fiji.