English language and literacy proficiency of students in an urban Fiji primary school

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Fiji is a multicultural and multilingual community and English is one language taught in Fiji schools. This study aimed to describe the English language proficiency of Fiji primary school students. Direct assessment measures of 75 students’ English language (listening and speaking) and literacy (reading and writing) skills were obtained (Year 1: n = 35; Year 4: n = 40). These were examined in relation to students’ academic performance and the main language spoken at home. English home language status was correlated with better English language proficiency and academic performance for students in Year 1, but not for students in Year 4. In year 4, higher proficiency on English language tasks was correlated with speaking Fiji Hindi at home. The importance of obtaining information about home languages in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts is emphasised. The findings of this study have implications for assessing the English proficiency of linguistically multi-competent children learning in immersion education settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-238
Number of pages16
JournalLanguage, Culture and Curriculum
Issue number2
Early online date02 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Grant Number

  • FT0990588
  • DP180102848


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