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Title: The Age Factor in EFL Learning: Insights from the Palestinian
Authors: Dwaik, Raghad
Keywords: young learners, palestine, early start
Issue Date: Aug-2010
Publisher: Najah National University
Abstract: The World has recently witnessed a growing interest in young learner EFL programs. Research results regarding the value of such programs are not conclusive. This brings to the foreground the importance of conducting research studies that evaluate the practical achievements of such early start programs in various contexts. This paper attempts to shed some light on the controversial issues related to the influence of early start English programs on children’s achievement of English as a foreign language. Two age groups were compared: Eleven year olds who have started learning English from the First Grade and thirteen year olds who have started learning English from the fifth grade. A comprehensive test was designed to compare the two age groups in terms of their achievement in reading comprehension, vocabulary and structure. Results show that fifth grade starters achieved better results in reading comprehension and vocabulary; however, there were no statistically significant differences between the two age groups in terms of structure.
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