Leerderskenmerken: Individuele verschillen in het leren van talen.
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Most immigrant children in the Netherlands are second or third generation immigrants. For children from Antillian or Aruban parents (the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba are former Dutch colonies in the Caribbean) this is quite different. Many of these children of pre-school or primary school age are first generation children.This article reports a study on effects of immigration on school achievement, motivation and abstract problem solving skills of 56 Antillian and Aruban immigrant children in the age range of ten to thirteen. These children were compared with a group of 121 Dutch pupils and with a group of schoolchildren living in Curaçao, the largest island of the Netherlands Antilles. The number of children from the latter group varied per test.It was hypothesized that immigration would have a disturbing effect on the relationschip between scores on a variety of measures. The normal picture in schools is that good pupuls generally achieve well on a range of performance tests, whereas the less capable pupils do less well on these tests. This is what we call a homogeneous learning profile. Disturbance manifests itself in a break-down of this homogeneity. What results are heterogeneous learning profiles: a pupil may achieve well on a particular measure, but this does not tell us anything about achievements on other measures. Homogeneous learning profiles are what teachers often expect. In the Netherlands there is a form of special education especially for children with strongly heterogeneous learning profiles.Both in the group of Dutch children and in the group of Curaçaon children the corelations between measures were rather strong and in the expected direction. These children had, as we expected, homogeneous learning profiles. In the group of Curaçaon and Aruban immigrant children we distinguished pupils by their age of arrival in the Netherlands: up to six years old and from six years old. This latter group (43 pupils) clearly had less homogeneous learning profiles. It did not make a difference whether the scores on the vocabulary test or the scores on the spelling test were taken as a reference point. Actually we had expected differences between these two reference points, assuming that vocabulary development in Dutch is more strongly affected by non-school circumstances than spelling. Non-school circumstances may greatly vary between immigrant children, depending on how their families cope with the new living situation.The learning profiles of the children with a younger age of arrival resembled more closely the profiles of native Dutch and native Curaçaon children, suggesting that the disturbance of learning profiles is a temporary matter.Possible explanations for the findings and practical implications are discussed.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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