Claire Lilienthal Elementary School (CLS) strives to provide an excellent education for children in the San Francisco Unified School District. Over 690 children are studying in the school, and their background is very diverse, the largest group of the students (30%) being of Asian descent.
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Apart from the comprehensive curriculum, CLS provides additional opportunities, and the full day Korean-English Immersion program (KIP) is one of them.
Nowadays, bilingualism can be regarded as a typical environment for children living in multinational countries. The specifics of bilingual children cognitive development should be taken into account by the schools they study in, and the KIP initiative demonstrates the acknowledgement of this fact by the modern society. At the same time, there are also hidden KIP advantages that are connected to bilingualism and its influence on cognitive development and performance.
In particular, it has been proved that bilingual children demonstrate better executive functions performance. CLS is the only school in Northern California to implement KIP for students in grades K-5, and to increase the parents’ awareness of the true benefits of the program, a study devoted to the advantages of bilingualism for children’s development will be carried out.
The primary goal of this study consists in testing the ideas and assumptions concerning the positive impact of bilingualism on executive functions. However, increasing the parents’ awareness of the KIP benefits is also an important goal, and the population that we expect to benefit from this research is the students of the school who will be more likely to enjoy the advantages of KIP.
The population addressed by this study includes Korean-English bilingual children while monolingual students are regarded as the control group. Three groups of students (in grades K-2) will be tested to gather information about their working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. The groups with include English-speaking monolingual children, Korean and English speaking bilinguals and those English-speaking children who have been participating in KIP for at least a year. We will attempt to gather enough pupils at the Claire Lilienthal School, but other San Francisco schools with similar demographics may also be involved.
We expect the tests to be entertaining as they are going to be presented in the form of games designed specifically for children. The tests include the dimensional change card sort, the game “Simon Says”, the visually cued recall test, and the attention network task. Apart from the test results, other characteristics (age, socioeconomic status) will be gathered with the help of the parent questionnaire and school records. Additional characteristics are necessary to match the children’s performance correctly.
The team of the study is yet to be established, but we understand that we need to take into account particular challenges. The study will require at least one Korean language specialist we hope to recruit from CLS staff. In general, we expect support and participation from CLS and KIP executives and members, and we are willing to include them in our team.
We intend to evaluate the process of the study continuously with the help of the team members observation notes and databases. We allow the possibility of modifying the plan in the course of the study, and a pilot experiment will be launched for this purpose. Attention will be paid to flaws and difficulties along with the opportunities that can be encountered. The variables will be evaluated with the help of the established tests that have already proved their reliability along with customized questionnaires that will be modified to suit the needs of out sample. The study can only fail to achieve the primary goals if the results are inaccurate which is why avoiding biases an essential requirement for a positive outcome evaluation.
Claire Lilienthal Alternative K-8 Elementary School (CLS) is a public school in San Francisco, California. As stated in Claire Lilienthal Alternative K-8 School Overview (2015), CLS aims to provide an excellent education for children in the San Francisco Unified School District. According to Niche.com, Inc. (2015), 84% of students of CLS are considered proficient in math and (or) reading which suggests that the school has been fulfilling its purpose successfully. The 695 students of CLS have a diverse background: currently, about 26% of the pupils are white, while 22 of them are of multiracial descent, 10% are Hispanic, and 8% are African American. The largest group of CLS students (30%) is of Asian descent (Niche.com, Inc, 2015, para. 4).
Apart from the comprehensive curriculum, CLS provides other opportunities for their students. The examples of such opportunities include the Outdoor Education Science Program and the school’s partnership with the San Francisco Arts Education Project. An Inclusion Program is suggested for students with special needs. Apart from that, CLS is the only school in Northern California to implement the full day Korean-English Immersion program (KIP) for students in grades K-5 to help both Korean and English-speaking students “develop the ability to speak, read and write in two languages at the same time” (Wells, 2015, p. 1).
KIP was created with the help of the San Francisco Korean Immersion Education Alliance, Inc., a non-profit parent-founded organization aimed at supporting Korean language and cultural education within the region. The introduction of this program to the school’s curriculum is justified by the large number of Asian CLS students. However, it is pointed out in the KIP Handbook that other pupils who are willing to be introduced to Korean culture and language are very welcome to participate.
KIP is an excellent opportunity that can assist bilingual students in their studies. Apart from that, it offers monolingual students the opportunity of learning a second language while providing them with inspiring information about the foreign culture. Finally, there are also hidden KIP advantages that are connected to bilingualism and its influence on cognitive development and performance.
It should be pointed out, however, that the final group of advantages does not appear to be widely known. In order to increase the parents’ awareness of the benefits that KIP actually promises, a study devoted to the advantages of bilingualism for children’s development can be carried out. A vivid demonstration of the positive impact of bilingualism on certain cognitive processes can be used to increase the popularity of KIP which can be beneficial both for the school and, most importantly, for children who will be more likely to participate.
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Executive functions (also called cognitive control) include “the mechanisms that enable human cognition to move away from automatic responses, towards more complex, goal-driven behaviors” (Stocco & Prat, 2014, p. 51). These functions are associated with a number of intellectual and emotional development aspects, including social competence, moral conduct, and school readiness (Carlson & Meltzoff, 2008). Academic performance is probably the most traceable parameter that depends on executive functions. For example, working memory contributes to reading comprehension and mental arithmetics achievements (Morales, Calvo & Bialystok, 2013).
There exists a bulk of scientific evidence that supports the concept of bilingualism enhancing executive functions performance. It should be pointed out that not every aspect of executive functions appears to be connected to bilingualism (Carlson and Meltzoff, 2008). There is sufficient evidence to assume that affected areas include such parameters as inhibitory control (“the ability to resist a habitual response or information that is not relevant”), working memory (“ability to hold information in mind and mentally manipulate it”), and cognitive ﬂexibility (“ability to adjust to changes in demands or priorities and switch between goals”) (Barac, Bialystok, Castro & Sanchez, 2014, p. 702).
The boost of executive functions as a result of bilingualism can become traceable since the first year of life, and there is evidence to the suggestion that the employed language pairs are irrelevant in this respect, and any kind of bilingualism has a beneficial effect on cognitive development of a child (Barac et al., 2014, p. 704).
The impact of bilingualism on various aspects of intellectual activity and cognitive development has been studied for more than a hundred years. For the first half of the previous century, the prevalent belief was that bilingualism had a negative impact on children’s development. However, the studies of that time that were demonstrating better intellectual development in monolingual children were later accused of inaccuracy.
For example, the tests could be conducted only in English, and the level of proficiency in this language varied among bilingual children. Similarly, the children were not matched properly from the point of view of age or socio-economic conditions. (Barac et al., 2014). The fact that socioeconomic status is important for cognitive development has long been proved (Calvo & Bialystok, 2014). Once scientists realized these mistakes, the results of studies on bilingualism began to indicate that bilingual children actually tended to outperform monolingual in a number of factors (Barac et al., 2014).
Apparently, there is no denying the fact that bilingualism is a cognitively challenging experience. However, as a result, it can be regarded as an exercise that beneficially affects cognitive performance (Morales et al., 2013, pp. 187-188). In general, the positive impact of bilingualism on executive function has been demonstrated by a growing number of studies, for example, those by Blom, Küntay, Messer, Verhagen and Leseman (2014), Mezzacappa (2004), Stocco and Prat (2014), Foy and Mann (2013), and Carlson and Meltzoff (2008).
The Impact of the Problem on Society. The Significance of the Problem
Bilingualism is a common condition for children in a multinational country, and the knowledge about the specifics of their development and their educational needs should be taken into account while creating curricula. Apart from that, the beneficial effects of bilingualism on cognitive performance appear to be a viable incentive for introducing children to different linguistic environments. Schools can be regarded as the institutions that are capable of informing parents about their children’s opportunities in this field. Increasing the awareness of parents concerning programs like KPI is entirely consistent with the mission of CLS as well as that of other schools.
The suggested study is aimed at providing visible proofs to the fact that bilingualism affects cognitive development of children in a positive way. Three groups of CLS students (in grades K-2) will be tested to gather information about their executive functions. The groups will include English-speaking monolingual children, Korean and English speaking bilinguals and those English-speaking children who have been participating in the immersion program for at least a year.
Apparently, in order to assess cognition in children, tests are modified to take into account their level of development and to resemble a game (Reinstein & Burau, 2014). The tests that are proposed for this study include the dimensional change card sort, the games “Simon Says” and “Statue”, and the Kansas reflection/impulsivity scale (Carlson & Meltzoff, 2008).
Apart from that, the parents/guardians will be asked to fill out a questionnaire aimed at determining the linguistic background of the children along with the specific features of their behavior. The socioeconomic status, age, language fluency of the children are going to be taken into account in the processing of the results so that the mistakes of the previous century studies would not be repeated.
The results of the study are expected to provide additional evidence for the study of bilingualism, namely, to demonstrate the positive impact of bilingualism on certain cognitive processes.
The effects that bilingualism has on executive functions have been extensively investigated in the past several years (Barac et al., 2014). The tests suggested for this study have also been widely used for similar investigations, for example, in those by Morales et al. (2013) and Carlson and Meltzoff (2008). Still, further investigation of the issue appears to be relevant for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the Korean-English language pair appears to be underrepresented in this field of study. The language pairs that are covered in executive function studies include Chinese-English, French-English, and Spanish-English ones (Carlson & Meltzoff, 2008; Mezzacappa, 2004). The study by Blom et al. (2014) was devoted to cognitive advantages in Turkish-Dutch bilingual children. The study of Soliman (2014) involved studying components of working memory tests in Arabic–English bilingual children.
The work of Kang (2012) did examine Korean-English bilingual children, but the focus was not on the cognitive development, but on phonological awareness and academic performance. Secondly, positive results of this study may provide evidence to the supposition that any kind of bilingualism can have a positive effect on executive functions. At the same time, the English-Korean language pair is central to the study because the KIP is concerned with it.
It is true that the specific components of executive function that are involved in language processing and, consequently, may benefit from bilingualism, are not fully determined yet (Morales et al., 2013). The main reason for that is the fact that the results of studies occasionally contradict each other. For example, the study of Engel de Abreau (2011) did not reveal any differences in working memory performance between bilingual and monolingual children. This result, however, contradicts those obtained by Morales et al. (2013). Given the amount of scientific work that proves the beneficial impact of bilingualism on executive function (as presented above), we may expect the bilingual English-Korean children to outperform monolingual students in the course of the proposed study.
From the point of view of the further research concerning the relation between bilingualism and executive functions, the proposed study may provide support for a number of ideas. Those include the suggestion that using any language pair in their communication has a positive impact on a child’s cognitive performance as well as the disputable issue of working memory being or not being affected by bilingualism.
Apart from that, the proposed study will provide additional evidence to be used in research concerning bilingualism. The fact that the research is almost bound to prove the beneficial effect of bilingualism on cognitive development in children means that its results could be used by CLS teachers to increase parents’ awareness concerning the advantages of KIP and improve the program’s popularity. The latter means that more children are going to participate in the program which is consistent with the school’s mission of providing supreme education opportunities.
Goals and Objectives
The primary goal of this study consists in testing the idea that bilingualism affects certain kinds of executive functions, namely cognitive ﬂexibility, inhibitory control, and working memory processes in a positive way. Given the contradictory data, the question of working memory is controversial. Therefore, any kind of evidence concerning this issue gained through the study is especially important.
Apart from that, as a result of this study, the theory according to which the positive impact of bilingualism on executive functions does not depend on the language pair involved, is also going to be tested. In this particular case, it is the Korean-English pair that is going to be studied, and this bilingual set appears to be underrepresented in the research on the matter. The proposed study, therefore, is mostly aimed at providing additional evidence to the bilingualism research, accumulating relevant knowledge, and testing the suppositions that appear to be underrepresented or controversial.
At the same time, additional goals are pursued by the study. By providing a vivid example of the positive effects of bilingualism with the help of Claire Lilienthal School Korean Immersion Program, we intend to increase the parents’ awareness concerning the benefits of the said program. The population that we expect to eventually benefit from this process is the students of the school who will be more likely to enjoy the advantages of bilingual studies program.
To achieve the goals, the following objectives have been set:
- To create an enthusiastic research team in collaboration with CLS.
- To define the sample for the research.
- To develop and refine the research instruments taking into account the specifics of the sample.
- To carry out the research, analyze the results and make conclusions concerning the primary goals requirements.
- To evaluate the results of the research and utilize them to achieve the secondary goals.
The population addressed by this study includes Korean-English bilingual children. The children who are beginning to be exposed to a bilingual environment are also targeted by the study.
The study sample will include roughly equal numbers of students in the grades K-2, male and female, that will be divided into three groups. The groups will include the Korean-English bilingual children who are exposed to two languages since their birth; English monolingual children (the control group), and the children who are involved in the immersion program at school but are not exposed to bilingual experiences at home.
Monolingual children are going to be regarded as the control group: the results of the performance exhibited by the bilingual students are going to be evaluated in comparison to that of monolingual students. We realize that the native bilingual children will most certainly have different command of the two languages they know. We will take into account their preferences concerning the test instructions language; apart from that, we will document these discrepancies and take them into account while processing the tests data.
The first stage of sampling and will include searching for subjects with the help of CLS resources and employees. Upon finding students that possess the necessary qualities, we will contact their parents or guardians and suggest participating in the study. The benefits and risks will be explained to them as well as the potential scientific value of the study. We intend to use flyers as a means of contacting subjects during this stage of the research; in certain cases personal contact could be deemed preferable. The students who agree to participate will become the final sample of the study. Additional information about the children will be gained with the help of questionnaires offered to the parents. The consent forms will be given to the parents or guardians (see Appendix C); the oral consent of the children will be required.
We will attempt gathering enough students at the Claire Lilienthal School. From the information presented by Niche.com, Inc. (2015), it can be concluded that there are about 250 children studying in the grades K-2 of CLS. Still, in case the resulting sample will appear to be insufficient, we will involve other San Francisco schools with similar demographics. It is obvious, however, that the group of immersion students can only be gathered in the school which puts it in a special position. We anticipate fewer difficulties with sampling the group of bilingual children and no problems with monolingual students. We expect every sample group to consist of up to twenty children. This number can be changed in case certain opportunities concerning the sample will or will not arise.
The anticipated risks for the population are minimal. There is a chance that children will get uncomfortable or unhappy with their own performance. The fact that they are allowed to stop the test at any moment will be clearly stated. Apart from that, we will not inform the children about their peers’ performance and will not evaluate their own in order to avoid any kind of negative experiences. We will also maintain complete confidentiality regarding the results of the tests or any personal information that we will gain access to. The possible incentive for the children would be T-shirts with CLS logo.
We may also offer the parents to reimburse the money spent to get to the meeting. In certain cases, we may travel to the child’s place instead since the equipment is highly transportable. Even though the parents of the children are not targeted by the study, their collaboration is very important for its success.
The proposed study will utilize purposive sampling method in order to determine the primary sample group of subjects. The relevant information regarding the subjects will be gained with the help of school reports and teachers and specifically developed parent questionnaire. The tests proposed for this study are not going to be created especially for it. These tests have been used by a number of studies and their reliability as a means of measuring the executive functions performance of children has been demonstrated. Apart from that, these tests are specifically adapted to be used with children: they are presented in the form of a game and the specifics of children cognitive development have been taken into account in the process of their creation (Carlson & Meltzoff, 2008).
Upon finalizing the sampling process, we will determine the time and place for children to participate in the tests. We expect it to be most convenient to invite children to CLS, but in certain cases the place can be changed. The parents/guardians of the children will be offered the consent forms. An oral consent of the child will be requested as well.
We intend to record the testing process in order to be able to properly assess the responses of the children. Given the fact that most of the tests presuppose fast responses, in order to document them properly, video tapings would be most advisable. We will inform the participants about this necessity and its reasons prior to the tests, and they will be free to refrain from participating in case they do not wish to be videotaped or to have their children videotaped.
The tests will be presented in the form of games, some of them computer-assisted. One of these games is “Simon Says” as it was defined by Strommen in the previous century (Carlson & Meltzoff, 2008, p. 288). The task demonstrates a child’s inhibitory control along with cognitive flexibility, and it has been used, for example, in the studies by Bialystok et al. (2005) and Carlson and Meltzoff (2008).
Similarly, the dimensional change card sort task is presented as a card game: the images on the cards vary in shape and color, and the child is expected to sort them while taking into account only one of the dimensions. As the rules change (for example, from sorting the circles and the squares to dividing the cards according to the color), they conflict and require paying more attention to the relevant information (Carlson & Meltzoff, 2008, p. 287).
The visually cued recall test is meant to assess children’s working memory and inhibition. It presupposes showing a child an array of pictures while pointing out some of them. The children are to remember and show the “special pictures” after all of them are demonstrated (Carlson & Meltzoff, 2008, p. 288). Finally, the attention network task as presented by Rueda et al. (2004) will be suggested to test children’s inhibition. This is a computer game that requires “feeding” a fish that keeps appearing on the screen facing different directions. The instructions will be provided in the language of the child’s choice; apart from that, all the tests presuppose a number of “practice” trials that would be necessary to ensure that the child understands the rules of the game.
We intend to conduct a pilot test with up to three children from every group in order to define difficulties that might arise in the course of procedures. In case any problems are faced during the pilot tests, or any suggestions will be proposed by the team members, the procedures plan will be improved and customized.
The parents will be offered to fill out the questionnaire devoted to the family’s linguistic background and the child’s personal qualities. The questionnaire may be developed and customized depending on the specific features of the sample that we will be able to get access to. The presence of the parents during the tests will be discouraged as this may serve as a distraction for the children.
Upon finalizing the experiment part of the study, the gathered data will be processed as shown in the following sections. The results will be summarized, and a report will be formed. The process and the outcome of the study will be evaluated from the point of view of the goals achievement as well as team and participants feedback.
The key staff roles include:
- Primary Investigator (PI) – NAME.
- Responsible for the implementation of the relevant actions within the planned timeframe.
- Responsible for the coordination of other members’ tasks.
- Responsible for carrying out the team meetings after the strategically significant events (see Appendix A) to receive feedback and revise the plan if necessary.
- If possible, can participate in other research activities. Still, the primary responsibility of PI consists in providing the smooth implementation of the planned activities.
- Mr. Tyler Graff, CLS Principal.
- Ms. Patty Harmon, CLS Assistant Principal.
- Donald Persky, President of San Francisco Korean Immersion Alliance, Inc.
- Other school and KIP member who are willing to participate.
- The primary responsibility of the coordinators consists in providing the information necessary for sampling and, if possible, testing locations. Other types of participation can be discussed.
- Data analysts:
- Team members and PI.
- Responsible for sampling and test data analysis.
- Team members and PI.
- Responsible for carrying out the tests, evaluating questionnaires, preparing reports concerning the results, and monitoring the process.
The specifics of the study require another staff member: Melissa Harmon, a CLS teacher and a Korean language specialist who will have to be employed as an assessor as well.
The language specialist will be responsible for the following tasks.
- Providing the translation of the tests that would be suitable for children to read and understand to avoid the mistakes emphasized by Barac, R., Bialystok, E., Castro, D., & Sanchez, M. (2014).
- If necessary, adapting the translation to suit the specific needs of children.
- If necessary, translating consent forms and questionnaires meant for parents who would prefer to fill them in the Korean language.
- Conducting tests in Korean for the children who would rather use this language.
- Ensuring the communication with the Korean-speaking children and adults.
Given the scope of the specialist tasks, it is obvious that having one of them is almost insufficient. We expect CLS to collaborate with us and; therefore, we wish to recruit one or two more teachers with the knowledge of Korean language from the school. The experience of working with children is another benefit that such a recruitment would mean for the study.
We intend to evaluate the process of the study continuously, and this intention is reflected in the allowances concerning changes in the instruments, tests, and procedures. To be able to receive feedback on our activities from every participant, research notes will be used. Every member will be asked to make notes or keep a research diary about every research-related activity meant for his or her personal use. During team meetings members will be encouraged to report the notes they find important. The team meetings will take place every month or after a significant event (for example, in case problems with sampling arise).
In such a way, we expect to be able to evaluate the process of the study. Our intent to launch a pilot experiment is also caused by the wish to assess the adequacy of our methods in practice before we conduct the actual study.
It should be pointed out that the evaluation does not presuppose only the determination of flaws within the plan or the inadequacy of the chosen methods. In case an opportunity to improve the design arises or a team member comes up with a consistent suggestion, they are going to be weighed and, if considered useful and affordable, incorporated into the initial plan. Whenever a suggestion concerning the improvement of the procedures is made, it should be recorded; its evaluation is going to be carried out during the next team meeting. However, in most cases we would refrain from broadening the scope of our study. The core of the plan and especially the goals are not expected to be changed. In case an opportunity for broadening the study will arise, we would consider carrying out another investigation upon finishing this one.
The outcome variables of the current research include the demographic variables, linguistic variables, personal character traits of the children and the results concerning their executive functions performance. The data will be gathered with the help of the questionnaires, tests, and school archives, and the assessors are responsible for providing the data analysts with the reports containing this information (see Appendix B). The demographic characteristics (age, gender, socioeconomic status) will be processed and summarized along with the language command and (if applicable) the personal traits of the children.
In respect to the latter, the self-control and attentiveness are going to be the most relevant traits. The results of the tests will be coded by the analysts to facilitate the data processing and the results reporting; the correlation between the mentioned characteristics and the tests results will be determined. The differences in the performances of native and non-native bilingual and monolingual children with respect to other characteristics will be determined. These differences will be calculated with respect to cognitive ﬂexibility, inhibitory control, and working memory.
All the feedback from any participants will be taken into account during the final team meeting. This meeting will be devoted to the evaluation of the process of the research and its outcomes. The results will be used for future reference among those who are willing to proceed researching activities. Simply put, the study outcome evaluation will be determined with regard to the goals achieved or partially completed. In fact, the study can only fail to achieve the primary goals in case it is aborted before the results are calculated or in case the results cannot be trusted. In every other situation, the study will provide evidence that can be used in the further research of bilingualism.
It is obvious, however, that the achievement of the expected results is most desirable. In this case, we will manage to demonstrate the positive effects of bilingualism on cognitive development in children which is our secondary goal. The achievement of this objective, however, does not depend on our efforts. Moreover, we should not allow this goal to cloud our perception. We need to conduct the tests as impartially as possible which is, naturally, required for the achievement of both goals. Since we intend to provide reliable results, we will need to avoid biases. This is a necessary requirement for a positive outcome evaluation.
Barac, R., Bialystok, E., Castro, D., & Sanchez, M. (2014). The cognitive development of young dual language learners: A critical review. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29(4), 699-714. Web.
Bialystok, E., Craik, F., Grady, C., Chau, W., Ishii, R., Gunji, A., & Pantev, C. (2005). Effect of bilingualism on cognitive control in the Simon task: evidence from MEG. Neuroimage, 24(1), 40-49. Web.
Blom, E., Küntay, A., Messer, M., Verhagen, J., & Leseman, P. (2014). The benefits of being bilingual: Working memory in bilingual Turkish–Dutch children. Journal Of Experimental Child Psychology, 128, 105-119. Web.
Calvo, A., & Bialystok, E. (2014). Independent effects of bilingualism and socioeconomic status on language ability and executive functioning. Cognition, 130(3), 278-288. Web.
Carlson, S., & Meltzoff, A. (2008). Bilingual experience and executive functioning in young children. Developmental Science, 11(2), 282-298. Web.
Claire Lilienthal Alternative K-8 School Overview. (2015). Web.
Engel de Abreu, P. (2011). Working memory in multilingual children: Is there a bilingual effect? Memory, 19(5), 529-537. Web.
Kang, J. Y. (2012). Do bilingual children possess better phonological awareness? Investigation of Korean monolingual and Korean-English bilingual children. Reading and Writing, 25, 411–431. Web.
Morales, J., Calvo, A., & Bialystok, E. (2013). Working memory development in monolingual and bilingual children. Journal Of Experimental Child Psychology, 114(2), 187-202. Web.
Niche.com, Inc. (2015). Claire Lilienthal Elementary. Web.
Reinstein, D., & Burau, D. (2014). Integrating Neuropsychological and Psychological Evaluations. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis.
Rueda, M., Fan, J., McCandliss, B., Halparin, J., Gruber, D., Lercari, L., & Posner, M. (2004). Development of attentional networks in childhood. Neuropsychologia, 42(8), 1029-1040. Web.
Soliman, A. (2014). Bilingual advantages of working memory revisited: A latent variable examination. Learning and Individual Differences, 32, 168-177. Web.
Stocco, A., & Prat, C. (2014). Bilingualism trains specific brain circuits involved in flexible rule selection and application. Brain And Language, 137, 50-61. Web.
Wells, J. A. (2015). Korean Immersion Handbook. Web.
Fall 2015 Cad 500 Timeline for Work Plan
|Establish the team||x|
|Develop and improve questionnaires and tests||x||x|
|Carry out the initial sampling |
with the help of the school(s)
|Contact potential subjects||x|
|Define the final sample||x|
|Refine the questionnaires (if necessary)||x||x|
|Conduct the pilot tests||x|
|Analyze the results of the pilot test||x|
|Refine the tests (if necessary)||x|
|Conduct the rest of the tests||x||x|
|Process the data||x|
|Analyze the results||x|
|Evaluate the results||x|
|Create the report||x|
We will need to measure a number of subjects’ characteristics. The demographic characteristics (age, gender, socioeconomic status of the family, education of the parents) will be found out with the help of school records and parent questionnaire. The linguistic background and relevant character traits/behavior patterns of the children will also be evaluated with the help of parent questionnaire.
In respect to the latter, the self-control and attentiveness are going to be the most relevant traits. The questionnaire will be developed specifically for the study; depending on the specifics of the sample it will be modified and, if necessary, translated into Korean. Apart from that, the language command of the children will be assessed with the help of school records. The instruments that will be used to assess children’s cognitive abilities include the game “Simon Says”, the dimensional change card sort task, the visually cued recall test, and the attention network task. These instruments are not developed by the team, but they may be modified by it to suit the needs of the research.
San Francisco State University
Informed Consent to Participate in Research
The Influence of Bilingualism on Executive Control Functions in Young Children
Purpose and Background
The purpose of this research is to investigation of differences in cognitive development between bilingual and monolingual children.
The researcher, Jennifer Lee, is a student at San Francisco State University conducting research for a course in Child and Adolescent Development. You are being asked to participate in this study because you are part of CLS and we are value everyone in CLS.
Your will be asked to participate in a number of tests performed in the form of games. We do not expect the tests to take more than an hour of your time. Please, note that the process is going to be videotaped. It is necessary for accurate analysis of the data.
There is a risk of loss of privacy. However, no names or identities will be used in any published reports of the research. Only the researcher will have access to the research data In case your feels uncomfortable with any activity, you are always free to stop.
The research data will be kept in a secure location and only the researcher will have access to the data. All research data will be stored in an encrypted document on a password protected computer.
The video recordings of your activities may be shown to our colleagues. In case we find it desirable, you will be notified about it and will be free to prohibit us from doing so. Once the recordings serve their purpose, they will be destroyed.
We do not expect yourself or your child to benefit from participating in this study. However, it is significant as a way of accumulating knowledge concerning bilingualism. Apart from that, the results of this particular study will be used to improve the Korean Immersion Program and increase the awareness concerning its advantages.
There will be no cost to you for participating in this research.
For participating in this study, your child will receive a T-shirt with the logo of Claire Lilienthal Elementary School. Your expenses for traveling to the school will be reimbursed, and you will receive a token gift of a pen with the logo of Claire Lilienthal Elementary School.
The alternative is not to participate in the research.
You have spoken with Jennifer Lee about this study and have had your questions answered. If you have any further questions about the study, you may contact the researcher by email at [email protected] or you may contact the researcher’s advisor, Professor Linda M. Platas at [email protected]
Questions about your rights as a study participant, or comments or complaints about the study, may also be addressed to the Human and Animal Protections.
You have been given a copy of this consent form to keep.
PARTICIPATION IN THIS RESEARCH IS VOLUNTARY. You are free to decline to participate in this research, or to withdraw your participation at any point, without penalty. Your decision whether or not to participate in this research will have no influence on your present or future status at San Francisco State University.
Signature _____________________________ Date: _________
Signature _____________________________ Date: _________