Browsing by Author "Cardwell, Jaana"

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  • Cardwell, Jaana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The purpose of this research was to study the bilingual class students attitudes toward schoolwork, studying in English and their attitudes toward ethnic diversity. Bilingualism has been shown to promote a person s cultural knowledge and to increase one s cultural tolerance. Also, it has been proven that young people are among the most receptive toward ethnic diversity. Students in bilingual classes have often lived abroad, travelled extensively, or have had contacts with different cultures through their parents work. This thesis seeks to clarify whether bilingualism has an effect on lower and upper graders intercultural competence. Also, it seeks to determine what the students think about their English language skills and what their abilities are to tolerate cultural differences. The research was carried out in one of Espoo Finland schools grades 4 to 9 in December 2008. One hundred fourteen (114) students participated in the research. Students answered the questions on a form where they were asked to submit their background information and answer which language they prefer in studying the school subjects. Students were also asked to choose from 18 pictures with ethnically different persons, telling which ones could be their friends and which ones they wished not to meet, as well as stating the reasons why. Also, the students answered to Likert-scale questions concerning their English studies and interculturalism. The data has been processed with qualitative and quantitative methods. The results show that the study language is not significant. Most of the students experienced studying in a bilingual class as a positive thing, and thought highly about their English skills. The students positive attitudes toward ethnic diversity and intercultural sensitivity were present in their answers. Tolerance and intercultural competence was especially noticeable in the written explanations by the older students.