A study of the effect of foreign language study on learned abilities

Linney, Mary
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During the 1980s, the public renewed its interest in the quality of education at all levels of the American educational system. There was concern that student learning was declining and that both the SAT scores and GRE scores were falling. At the same time, the rapidly changing technologies demanded a population skilled verbally, analytically, and quantitatively;This study analyzes the effects of foreign language study at the college level on verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills as measured by General Test of the Graduate Record Examination. Also included in the study is an examination as to the effects of the number of foreign language courses taken, the particular language studied, and the entry point of the first foreign language studied;The sample consisted of transcripts and test scores of graduating seniors from four institutions, Georgia State University, Ithaca College, Mills College, and Stanford University. The 9 item-type categories of the General Test of the GRE were the measures of general learned abilities. The residual score for each item-type was calculated in order to determine the student gain in general learned abilities during the time of the baccalaureate program;The statistical analysis used to examine the four research questions was the analysis of variance-one way (ANOVA) at the.10 level of significance. The Scheffe method was used to make post hoc comparisons;The results of the research indicate that foreign language study at the college level has limited effect on students' verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills. The entry point of the first foreign language studied proved to have the greatest impact.

Professional studies in education, Higher education