Title

Relations of Ability Beliefs, Perceived Value and Bilingual/Bicultural Programs on Asian Students’ English Achievement

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

The proposed research connects with the conference strand of “closing achievement gaps and promoting learning” by examining the relations between ability beliefs, perceived value, and bilingual/bicultural programs on the English achievement of Asian students in the U.S. who were native and non-native English speakers. Bilingual/bicultural programs usually are important language and culture learning resources for English language learners (ELLs), who usually scored significantly lower and had a higher dropout rate compared with their native English speaking peers (NCELA, 2011). Thus, this study is significant as we provided needed information on academic motivation of one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups of students in the U.S., Asian youth, and especially those learning English in bilingual/bicultural programs. This study also highlighted the importance of considering within-group differences when examining students’ academic motivation, which has been greatly urged by the motivation literature (e.g., Bong, 2001; Eccles, 2006; Niehaus & Adelson, 2013; Rouse & Austin, 2002).

Brief Program Description

The main objective of this study was to examine the relations between academic motivation and bilingual/bicultural programs on the school achievement of Asian students in the U.S., using national data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS: 2002) conducted by National Center for Education Statistics. The target audience is educators in English language learner instruction and bilingual/bicultural education.

Summary

Purpose: Expectancy-value theory (EVT) proposes that student’s ability beliefs (i.e., beliefs about how well will do on academic tasks) and perceived value (i.e., how much value academic tasks) have potent, unique, direct, and positive effects on academic choices, persistence, and performance (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002; Wigfield & Eccles, 2000). However, little is known about relations of ability beliefs and perceived value to the achievement of one of the fastest-growing groups of students in the U.S., Asian youth, and especially those learning English in bilingual/bicultural programs. Bilingual/bicultural programs use children’s native language to make instruction meaningful. Though bilingual/bicultural programs improve learning, more research on their effectiveness for various youth is needed, especially as they are controversial and a target of budget cuts (Alanís, 2000; López & Tashakkori, 2010). Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine the main and interactive relations between ability beliefs, perceived value, and bilingual/bicultural programs on the English achievement of Asian students. As there is substantial language diversity within Asian youth, we also consider whether participants’ native language was or was not English (Niehaus & Adelson, 2013). Methodology: The study used survey data from the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS) of 2002. Participants included 1,460 Asian 10th grade students in the U.S. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted on survey items reflecting ability beliefs and perceived values. Students’ reading assessment scores were used as the outcome variable. Multiple regression analysis showed that ability beliefs (β = .14, p < .001), perceived value (β = .08, p <.01) and bilingual/bicultural programs (β = .16, p < .001) all had positive relations on Asian students’ English achievement while controlling for gender, SES and native English speaker. No significant interactions were found. Implications: Findings suggest the importance of both motivation and bilingual/bicultural programs in Asian students’ English achievement. To promote Asian students’ motivation for learning, educators should emphasize the value of learning, encourage students to make connections between classroom knowledge to their life, and help students to recognize that ability can be improved through effort. More schools should consider implementing bilingual/bicultural to promote Asian students’ English achievement.

Evidence

Recent rigorous randomized experiments have shown that interventions that target students’ ability beliefs and values about school can lead to increase in academic achievement and reduce achievement gaps (Yeager & Walton, 2011). For example, by encouraging 9th grade students to relate the class content in science classes to their lives through essay assignments, students with low success expectations gained 0.8 grade points in science class (Hulleman & Harackiewicz, 2009). By re-framing and affirming 7th grade black students’ sense of personal adequacy and values through a brief in-class structured writing assignments, students’ grades significantly improved and the racial achievement gap between black and white students reduced by 40%. The benefits remained after two years, especially for low-achieving black students (Cohen, Garcia, Apfel, & Master, 2006; Cohen, Garcia, Purdie-Vaughns, Apfel, & Brzustoski, 2009). By teaching students that their intelligence is malleable and that ability improves with efforts, students’ grades and classroom motivation increased over the two years of junior high school in a longitudinal study and an intervention conducted by Blackwell, Trzesniewski, and Dweck (2007). The effectiveness of such social psychological interventions are encouraging and highly beneficial for educational reform such as instruction improvement, curricula development and the promotion of student motivation (Cohen et al., 2009; Hulleman & Harackiewicz, 2009; Hulleman, Godes, Hendricks, & Harackiewicz, 2010; Yeager & Walton, 2011); however, little research and intervention has specifically targeted Asian students’ ability beliefs, perceived values and achievement in a specific language and cultural learning context such as bilingual/bicultural programs (Huang, 2008; Ushioda & Dörnyei; 2009). Thus, this study is significant as we provided needed information on academic motivation of Asian students in bilingual/bicultural programs in the U.S., and examined the effect of bilingual/bicultural programs for academic achievement of Asian students of both native and non-native English speakers. This study also highlighted the importance of considering within-group differences when examining students’ academic motivation, which has been greatly urged by the motivation literature (e.g., Bong, 2001; Eccles, 2006; Niehaus & Adelson, 2013; Rouse & Austin, 2002). Additional connections between results and implications for bilingual/bicultural education will be provided.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Liyun Zhang is a doctoral student from the program of Educational Psychology and Research, College of Education, University of South Carolina.

Matthew J.Irvin, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the program of educational psychology and research, College of Education, University of South Carolina. Dr. Irvin’s research focuses on the academic, social, and behavioral development of adolescents from rural communities. This includes students’ risk and resilience, motivation and engagement, learning in online courses, youth with disabilities, and peer relations.

Kelly Lynn Mulvey, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the program of educational psychology and research, College of Education, University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on moral and social development, intergroup attitudes, stereotyping and prejudice, theory of mind, social exclusion, resource allocation, social justice, fairness, children’s social-cognitive development, intergroup contact, gender, race and ethnicity, peer group dynamics, aggression, social reasoning.

Sarah Kate Niehaus is an assistant professor in the program of educational psychology and research, College of Education, University of South Carolina. Dr. Niehaus's primary research interests involve: a) the academic achievement, self-perceptions, and social-emotional well-being of English Language Learners and Latino students, and b) the role of school support and students' feelings of school connectedness in predicting key academic and behavioral outcomes. Dr. Niehaus has expertise in advanced quantitative methodologies (e.g., SEM, HLM) and applies these methodologies to study national, large scale data sets.

Keyword Descriptors

Ability beliefs, perceived values, bilingual/bicultural programs, English achievement, Asian students

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

Relations of Ability Beliefs, Perceived Value and Bilingual/Bicultural Programs on Asian Students’ English Achievement

Harborside Center East and West

The main objective of this study was to examine the relations between academic motivation and bilingual/bicultural programs on the school achievement of Asian students in the U.S., using national data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS: 2002) conducted by National Center for Education Statistics. The target audience is educators in English language learner instruction and bilingual/bicultural education.