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The purpose of the current study was to investigate the value of bilingual education in adults with low and high second language proficiency. An online survey was used. Seventy-two adults recruited from a Midwestern university were asked about their willingness to pay hypothetical money for the construction of a bilingual immersion elementary school and a standard, monolingual elementary school in their community. The survey asked questions about the value of learning a second language and presented two 13-question Hypothetical Purchase Tasks (HPT) counterbalanced across participants. The first HPT task asked the participants to rate how likely they would be to pass (vote for) a proposal to construct a new, local bilingual immersion elementary school. The second HPT task asked how likely the participant would be to pass a proposal to construct a new, local elementary school. For each task, they were told that the proposal would cause a hypothetical annual tax increase. They rated how likely they would vote for the proposal at 13 tax amounts ranging from $0 to $3,000, and the point at which likelihood reached zero (breakpoint) was assessed. After completing the two purchase tasks, the participants were asked questions about their proficiency in a different language(s) using parts of the Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire (LEAP-Q). The level of proficiency in a second language was used to divide the participants into groups (e.g., low and high proficiency). The study used a mixed-model design. Data was compared within-participants across the two HPTs as well as between-participants based on their self-rated fluency level in a second language. The results showed that the high second-language proficiency group rated the importance of learning a second language significantly higher than the low proficiency group. Across both groups, there were significantly higher breakpoint averages for the bilingual immersion elementary school HPT. This study concluded that, regardless of second language proficiency, there were high levels of support for bilingual education.
Airo, Abigale, "Implementation of the Probability Hypothetical Purchase Task to Assess Attitudes Towards Bilingualism" (2023). Honors Theses. 3742.
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