The Relationship of Relevant Curriculum Materials to the Achievement of First Grade Portuguese Bilingual Students

Joao P. Botelho
Education, Boston University - UNITED STATES, 1983
May, 1983
Doctoral thesis


The use of portuguese instructional materials developed and published in this country by Portuguese bilingual programs has increased dramatically over the past three years (EDAC, 1982).

The effectiveness of these materials is debatable, and conclusive research evidence is lacking, particularly in considering students' achievement.

This study investigated and compared the effectiveness of selected instructional materials in Reading and Science of portuguese children in american schools.

Specifically, this investigation was designed to study the following major question: What are the comparative results on achievement of Portuguese/English bilingual first graders using instructional materials developed in Portugal and materials developed in the United States?

The subjects for this study were 73 first grade Portuguese/English bilingual children enrolled in four schools, two in one state and the other two in another state. They were further divided into two treatment groups according to the type of materials used in their classrooms.

During the first two weeks of September the subjects were pretested in reading and in science and posttested during the first week of February.

The instruction was conducted from September to January. Two schools used materials in Reading and Science developed in the United States and two other schools used materials in Reading and Science developed in Portugal.

The two Reading and the two Science text books used in this study were first analyzed and compared for content correspondence. The common content found in these materials was examined systematically for correspondence between Content and Method with the use of Johnson's Classification by Response Methodology (Johnson, 1976). (See Appendixes 2 and 3).

This study tends to support the hypothesis that students who receive instruction with materials developed in the United States will increase their mean achievement scores relatively more than those taught with materials developed in Portugal. The findings obtained appear to have resulted from a greater correspondence between the teaching methods and the items on the achievement tests, and also from the cultural relevance of the materials.