Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr David Prescott


Researchers have described Non English Speaking Background (NESB) students as educationally disadvantaged but recent statistics show that some NESB students are actually outstripping their English Speaking Background (ESB) peers in educational achievement. In this study 121 students in upper primary classes in a Western Australian government school were surveyed so that NESB and ESB students could be identified and the proportion of NESB students within the sample group established. Information was gathered from both NESB and ESB students by administering a sociogram, the Lawseq test and a Likert scale questionnaire with variables of attitudes towards school, attitudes towards teachers1 influence of parents, and attitude towards future schooling and employment. The data were analysed separately for NESB and ESB students. The results showed that both NESB students and ESB students had very high educational aspirations. From a comparison made of the two sets of results, it was found that a small proportion of NESB students had higher self esteem, were marginally more socially accepted by their peers, had more positive attitudes toward teachers and had more support from parents. These results showed that some of the NESB students in the sample group had higher educational aspirations than their ESB peers.