Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


English as a Second Language

First Advisor

Dr. Pamela Anderson-Mejias

Second Advisor

Dr. Yong Lang

Third Advisor

Dr. Deborah Cole


Scores from the Texas Reading Proficiency Tests in English (RPTE) for ninety-four Newcomer ESL students were analyzed to understand the differences between students who had attended school continuously and those who had discontinuity in their first language (LI) education in their home country. This research was performed in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, a few miles from the border with Mexico. The hypothesis is that students who have gaps in their L1 education will not learn to read as quickly in English as those who had none since the former are lacking cognitive skills which the latter already have. This study was conducted to help educators better meet the needs of the growing population of limited formal schooling (LFS) immigrant students who have a second chance for education in the United States.


Copyright 2006 Stephen M. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American