In Science Learning: Two Languages are Better than One


Keithlyn C. Rubio

(Presented at the 1st MLE Conference, “Reclaiming the Right to Learn in One’s Own Language,” Capitol University, Cagayan de Oro City, Feb 18-20, 2010.)

ABSTRACT:  This study investigated the effects of language on how students comprehend and answer science questions. Two sets of exam sheets – one in English,  the other in Filipino – were given out to Grade 4, 5 and 6 students from a private school in Los Baños, Laguna. The test consisted of 13 questions obtained from the TIMSS 2003 and 2007 exams on Grade 4 science. The subjects in each class were divided into 2 balanced groups; the first one as the control group took the English set, while the other one as the experimental group took the exam translated/adapted into Filipino. A survey was also conducted to get necessary information about the students (i.e. science grades, over-all class standing, etc..) and what language or languages they speak at home.  The present study concludes that:  (a)  students who are good in English and Filipino are also good in science; and (b) students who speak two languages at home perform better academically than those who speak only one.

For the complete article, click on In Science Learning, Two Languages are Better than One.

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