Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This study was designed to investigate the comparative achievement in reading and mathematics, self-concept, and attitude towards reading of bilingually educated and traditionally educated students. To determine differences in achievement, 239 third- and sixth-grade students enrolled in bilingual education (French-English) and traditional education classes in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, were pre- and post-tested with standardized instruments in word knowledge, reading comprehension, self-concept, and attitude towards reading. The findings were tested statistically at the .05 level. In academic achievement, there were significant differences between the two groups only in mathematics computation, favoring bilingually educated students at the third-grade level and traditionally educated students at the sixth-grade level. When achievement by group was evaluated according to the variables of sex, race and English-speaking level, significant differences were found for only two interactions: the group/sex interaction for third-grade students on the Word Knowledge Subtest, in which bilingually educated male students performed significantly less well than their female counterparts and traditionally educated male students; and the group/language interaction for sixth-grade students on the Reading Comprehension Subtest in which traditionally educated dominant-English-speaking students performed significantly better than limited-English-speaking students whether they were bilingually or traditionally educated. In the non-academic areas, a significant difference was found between the two groups in self-concept, but only at the sixth grade level; this difference favored the bilingually educated students. There was no significant difference between the two groups in attitude towards reading at either grade level.