This report describes a pilot study of the attitudes and personal estimates of progress of students who have spent 4 or more years in the Amigos two-way bilingual program in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The program currently enrolls about 300 students: 50% native Spanish speakers and 50% native English speakers, approximately half of whom are African American. For half the day Spanish is the medium of instruction and English is used for the other half. A 25-questions survey was administered to Grade 4, 5, and 6 Amigo students designed to sound out their perceptions of the two-way language learning experience and the social world it provides. Results showed that both English- and Spanish-Amigos are aware of their progress in acquiring skills in both Spanish and English; that both groups have confidence in their potential as teachers of these languages; and that both are sensitive to cultural norms governing language use outside of school. Results also showed that the majority of Amigo students are basically satisfied with the program; that they want to continue in it and in their own bilingual/bicultural development; and that they do not believe the program has jeopardized their academic progress nor their command of their first language. The study investigators believe that these perceptions and opinions of students are essential to the evaluation of the program's effectiveness and to the program's amelioration. Appended to the report are the responses displayed in tabular form by grade following each of the 25 questions. A brief second table gives data on average Spanish and English reading scores of the Spanish Amigos. (LR)
Amigos Program MA; Cambridge Public Schools MA; English Speaking
1 - Available on microfiche
National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning, Santa Cruz, CA.
Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.