Recently, numerous studies evaluating bilingual education programs have shown that cultural orientation and language attitude play an important role in achieving sufficient proficiency in both first and second language. Despite a long tradition . of research in the field of attitude measurement, no test is readily available measuring cultural orientation in young second language learners. In the present article a description is given of the development of such a test for Turkish and Moroccan children learning Dutch as a second language in primary school. The test is based on Zirkel and Jackson's (1974) Cultural Attitude Scales.The reliability and validity of the test have been investi-gated in two studies. In the first (Buster et. al. 1985) 850 children were tested, and their scores on the cultural attitudes scales were compared to other measures that might reflect cultural orientation (questionnaires, sociograms) and to language proficiency tests. The reliability appeared to be fairly high, but there was no significant relation between cultural attitudes and language proficiency.In the second study (Verhoeven & Extra 1983) cultural attitude scales were used with individuals rather than with groups. Test scores were compared with data from interviews with the children tested, their parents and their teachers. On the whole this study suggests that the validity of the cultural attitude scale is sufficiently high. If certain requirements (e.g. regular revision because of the changing socio-cultural setting) are met, the cultural attitude scales appear to be a useful instrument in bilingual education research.
- cultural attitude