Interpretation of English idioms by Indian and non-Indian children
Hoiland, Esther Amelia
This study compared the performance of four groups of children--two Indian groups and two non-Indian groups--on a test of commonly used idioms. The Indian subjects, all bilingual, were differentiated on the basis of school setting, uni-ethnic or multi-ethnic. The non-Indian subjects, all from multi-ethnic schools, were differentiated on the basis of linguistic background, bilingual or monolingual.The sample consisted of 465 children in grades five, six, and seven from six schools in Northern and Central Saskatchewan. The Yandell Idioms Test was administered to all the children. Differences among mean scores of the groups were tested with an analysis of variance. In addition, to minimize the effects on the Idioms Test results of very high or very low reading ability, a second analysis was done involving a selected sample identified from within the total sample by excluding all subjects who scored below the 4.0 grade level or above the 7.9 grade level on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests.Analysis of Idioms Test scores revealed that Indian children in multi-ethnic schools scored higher than Indian children in uni-ethnic schools, but that non-Indian children, whether bilingual or monolingual, achieved significantly better than Indian children. in either multi-ethnic or uni-ethnic settings. Monolingual non-Indian children scored higher than bilingual non-Indian children, although for the selected sample, the differences were not statistically significant.In both analyses, there seemed to be few sex differences of importance. Between-group differences generally reflected the trend for the whole-group analyses, while within-group differences were not significant except for the bilingual. non-Indian group.In general, the study showed that not only did Indian children have difficulty with the comprehension of English idioms but that many English idioms used in basal readers were not familiar even to monolingual English-speaking children.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentCollege of Education
ProgramCollege of Education
CommitteeKlein, Howard A.
Copyright DateAugust 1973
elementary school students - Saskatchewan
Yandell Idioms Test