Category Archives: United States

CIES Presentation Langager et al.: Balancing CJK and English Literacy Objectives

With thanks to Mark Langager for sharing their abstract.

Wednesday May 4: Session 424, 13:45-15:15h, Floor C – Saint Laurent

Mark Langager, Hui Xu, and Jadong Kim, International Christian University

“Balancing CJK and English Literacy Objectives: A Case Study of East Asian Supplementary Schools in the Seattle Area”


Biliteracy has been broadly seen as being acquired by learners on a number of continua (Hornberger, 1989) between sets of two poles, including L1 versus L2 dominance, textual versus oral skills, communicative versus academic language and so forth. Until the recent work of Kondo-Brown and others (2006), however, most of the biliteracy literature has focused on that which occurs between languages with Latinate orthographies. Moreover, outcomes typically view language minorities as immigrants and thus favor analyses, findings, and conclusions based on skills in L2, generally the language of the host country and often the researcher (Langager, 2010).

Staking a more neutral spot on the continuum between ultimate L1 versus L2 literacy objectives, the current study uses interview and observation data to examine educational objectives of Chinese, Japanese and Korean communities providing L1 Saturday instruction at supplementary schools in the Seattle area. Students’ US residence ranges from short-term to long-term and thus literacy goals favor a range of priorities between L1 and L2. Initial findings suggest the three language communities all differ systematically in their literacy acquisition goals, albeit all three hold fast to both L1 and L2 objectives. Differences are identified among the three communities in the quality of governmental overseas assistance, circumstances bringing families to the US, educational career paths, and the place of entrance exams in the homeland. Accordingly, while children’s education varies considerably among individuals, separate patterns can be traced for the three communities.

CIES Presentation Park: Comparing the Impact of Private Tutoring in South Korea and the United States

I’m grateful to EJ Park for sharing her abstract.

Sunday, May 1: Session 57, 13:45-15:15h, Queen Elizabeth Hotel Floor C – Saint Laurent


The growing demand for private tutoring around the world is often regarded as a policy problem reflecting a weakness in public school programs.  Private tutoring poses potentially adverse impacts on the educational environment, because it is sometimes viewed as worsening social inequalities. In South Korea, for example, data show that expenditures on private tutoring by the wealthiest 10 percent were twelve times the amount spent by the poorest 10 percent of households. In contrast, private tutoring in the United States is used primarily for remedial purposes, and thus it occurs primarily for lower income students. The goal of this research is to test whether the use of private tutoring differs between the Korea and the United States, and whether private tutoring is associated with student achievement outcomes.  Our conceptual framework is an input-output model, where student achievement scores comprise the outputs and school resources/programs and student family background make up the inputs.  The data used for this research is the 2006 PISA Survey (Programme for International Student Assessment).  Our analytic approach will have two parts: (1) tabular comparisons and analysis of variance to compare tutoring patterns between South Korea and the U.S., and (2) OLS regression and hierarchical linear modeling to test the effect of private tutoring on students’ achievement outcomes, controlling for socioeconomic and school factors.   Although results are preliminary, there is a significant relationship between private tutoring and achievement in both countries, but the association is positive in South Korea and negative in the United States.

CIES Presentaton Mori: Determinants of Supplementary Tutoring in Japan, Korea, and the Unites States

Sunday, May 1. Session 57. 13:45-15:15h, Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Floor C – Saint Laurent

Thanks to Izumi Mori for sending me her abstract.


The purpose of this paper is to examine individual and school characteristics that are associated with students’ participation in out-of-school-time lessons in mathematics in three countries. Previous studies on supplementary tutoring have revealed confounding factors that determine students’ use of out-of-school tutoring as follows: 1) students’ academic performance, 2) deficiencies in formal schooling in terms of instruction and resources, 3) family’s socio-economic backgrounds, and 4) parental involvement. Using the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data for 15-year-olds, I conducted multilevel logistic regression for each country and found the following results. In Japan, SES except for family wealth has positive influence on student participation in tutoring. School resources and ability grouping have positive effect at the school level. In Korea, all SES measures but parents’ occupation have positive association with tutoring. Private school students are more likely to be tutored after controlling for other characteristics. In the United States, SES including parental education and occupation are not significant predictors after controlling for students’ test score. Public school students tend to participate more in tutoring, and higher student-teacher ratio and teacher shortage are associated with more participation in tutoring. The effect of test score varies in three countries: neutral in Japan, positive in Korea, and negative in the U.S. In all three countries, home educational resources (e.g, desk, place to study, books to help schoolwork, dictionary) are strong predictors of supplementary tutoring even after controlling for SES and school characteristics. These similarities and differences suggest the importance of examining supplementary tutoring at the cross-national level.