Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This research investigated factors believed to be involved in second language learning of Grade 6 students. Twelve Grade 6 French teachers and their students were studied. Students completed questionnaires assessing their language attitudes, motivation, self-perceptions of using French, and their use of French outside the classroom. These questionnaires were completed in the fall and then again in the spring. Students were also given a measure of language aptitude and a French listening achievement test in the fall, and measures of listening, speaking, reading, and writing achievement in the spring. In addition, questionnaires were administered to the teachers assessing their attitude towards teaching French, their teaching style, and their self-perception of French ability in both fall and spring. Their classroom behaviour was observed once in the fall and once in the spring.;Pearson product-moment correlations indicated a relatively low degree of stability in students' language attitudes from fall to spring. Analyses of variance showed effects of language aptitude and attitude/motivation (AMI) on students' French achievement. None of the measures of teacher quality was found to influence students' achievement. A causal model suggested that students entering Grade 6 with positive language attitudes also had high motivation which caused these students to have positive language attitudes and high motivation in the spring. In the spring, high motivation along with high language aptitude caused students to have high French achievement. High motivation in the spring also caused high self-confidence. It is suggested that future research examine the effects of curriculum on students' language attitudes and French achievement.



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