The problem that undergirds this study is the communication and understanding gap that exists between parents of Long Term English Language Learners (LTELL) and educational institutions. The purpose of this qualitative study was to uncover what Latino parents of LTELLs understood about their children’s language development as well as their academic standing. Using focus groups and interviews, the study examined how five parents of LTELL students communicated with their children’s schools and what understanding they held about the educational programs and policies in the district. The study included gathering parents’ ideas for how to improve the current system of communication between parents of LTELLs and the schools.
By exploring parents perceptions, through counter-story telling, of what was communicated to them about their children’s linguistic progress and academic placement, they made sense of current practices and determined future expectations between them and the school. Additionally, the study helped parents understand the academic trajectory and linguistic development of their children and the impact they can create by having their voices heard.
The analysis revealed four overarching themes. First, parents moved to the U.S. because they desired for a better future for their children. Second, the notion of education versus la educación was explored, where parents expressed cultural and linguistic teaching expectations at home and at school. Third was the theme of self-blame, where parents tended to blame themselves, rather than the system, for their children’s lack of language proficiency. Finally, parents highlighted communication, which they described as the core cultural and linguistic barrier at home and school.
Although the parents of LTELLs may unintentionally experience being uniformed and overlooked, they are highly concerned about their children’s English language proficiency and academic placement. Their collective voices expressed the hope for a good education leading to a successful future.
|Commitee:||Favela, Alejandra, Montgomery, Dawn|
|School:||Lewis and Clark College|
|School Location:||United States -- Oregon|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Language arts, Middle School education, School administration, Education, Secondary education, Hispanic American studies|
|Keywords:||Language development, Latino parents, Long Term English Language Learners|
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