An Exploration of Factors that Influence Brazilian Students' English Fluency: A Case Study
This was a dissertation that I chaired by student Margo Vianna. A research article was developed from the dissertation.
The purpose of this holistic single-case study was to identify and to understand the child, the family, and the school interactions that influence the development of Brazilian students’ English fluency. The general research question was: What perceived influences act within and on the students’ language acquisition to acquire English fluency? A purposeful sample of seventeen participants evidenced the factors that influence the seventh and the eighth grade Brazilian students’ English fluency. Data were collected through 17 interviews, tape-recordings, interview transcriptions, document analysis, and 17 member-check interviews. Data were coded and analyzed through the NVivo 10.0 for Mac Beta. The seven themes of internal influences that emerged from the data of the factors that influence Brazilian students’ English fluency included: English Lessons are Priority in Extracurricular Activities, Technology Use is Fundamental in English Fluency,Parents Participate in the Learning Experience, Contact with Culture and Native Speakers Advances English, Parents Set High Standards, the Curriculum, and Teachers’ Competency Influences English Fluency. One sub-theme resulted: Parents Motivate through Example. The two internal themes are: (1) Students are Naturally Interested in English, and (2) Students Enjoy Learning. The findings of this study supported the literature that ecological factors influence students’ learning, specifically the family, the school, and the community. Identifying and understanding the positive interactions that influence the students’ learning of English in this case may benefit teachers and families, to improve the students’ learning a foreign language for success in the Brazilian context.
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