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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

December 2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Navaz Bhavnagri

Abstract

Limited schooling in the first language (L1) has allowed English Language Learners (ELLs) to face obstacles in their second language (L2) and science courses. Therefore, this study examines these variables in the following two hypotheses: (1) there is a significant relationship between Arabic language proficiency and English language proficiency and (2) there is a significant relationship between Arabic language proficiency and science academic achievement. A causal-comparative design was used to examine these hypotheses. The investigator selected sixty 11th grade Arabic-speaking students based on a nonrandom sampling method from one high school in the Metropolitan Schools (pseudonym) in Southeast Michigan. The measures used to collect data include: (1) Versant Arabic Test (VAT), (2) English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA), and (3) Science component of the Michigan Merit Examination (MME). Descriptive analysis classified the sixty students by country of origin, age, gender and ESL level. Inferential statistics that were used to investigate the research hypotheses included correlational analysis and multivariate regression analysis. The results of correlational and multivariate regressional analyses showed a significant relationship between Arabic language proficiency and English language proficiency. Thus, the first hypothesis was supported. However, no significant relationship was found between Arabic language proficiency and science academic achievement, when conducting correlational and multiple regression analysis. Thus, the second hypothesis was not supported. Discussions are provided as to why the first hypothesis was supported and as to why the second hypothesis was not supported. Also, educational implications as well as directions for future research are provided.