Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Armstrong, Nolan

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership and Educational Policy Studies


English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers; Adult education--Illinois


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of Field Dependence/Independence of adult ESL (English as a Second Language) students and their teachers and its association with achievement. It was hypothesized that the students whose Field Dependence/Independence matched that of their teacher would show greater gain in achievement scores than would the students whose Field Dependence/Independence did not match that of their teacher. A total of 221 adult ESL students and 12 ESL teachers comprised the population of the study. The subjects were participants in a high school district Community Education ESL program, which met for 2.5 hours twice weekly for 12 weeks. Prior to instruction, the students were pre-tested for English proficiency using a non-standardized placement test which measures knowledge of English grammar structure. During the 10th week of the semester, students and teachers were administered the Group Embedded Figures Test (G.E.F.T.), a perceptual test which measures the subject's degree of Field Dependence/Independence. At the end of the semester, students were post-tested for achievement using an alternate form of the pre-test. The students' and teachers' data were separated into three groups, referred to as low, middle-range, and high, depending on their numerical score on the G.E.F.T. Students were then designated as matched or mismatched, depending on whether or not they scored in the same range on the G.E.F.T. as their teacher. A one-way analysis of variance was employed to test the homogeneity of the groups; since the groups were found to violate the assumption of homogeneity, all proportional data was converted to arcsine transformation numbers for reporting. An analysis of variance was then used to compute the difference in post-test scores of all students, while adjusting for pre-test scores. There was found to be a significant difference (p<.01) in the post-test scores of the matched students versus the mismatched students, the matched students showing the significantly greater gain in achievement. It was concluded from the results of the study that matching the Field Dependence/Independence of students and teachers results in greater gain in students' achievement. Implications of the study include the value of further investigation into Field Dependence/Independence as it relates to effective teaching and student achievement.


Bibliography: pages [41]-46.


v, 57 pages




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