Graduation Date

5-2014

Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Education

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, Ed.D.

Abstract

Our first generation children face a loss of heritage in today’s public schools. Unfortunately, the assets that one’s bilingual ability brings into the classroom are difficult for educators to fully understand. Often this may happen because professionals in the field of education lack the knowledge about the need for children to maintain their culture heritage as a first generation or second generation child. This study addresses the benefits of the preservation of culture heritage in Latino/ Latina children. The problem is that there are very few opportunities for people to see strong bilingual education programs with culture heritage preservation as part of the curriculum. A review of the literature revealed that there is a need for preservation of culture and heritage in the youth of today’s world. Often first generation students, particularly Spanish speaking students, lose their heritage language. The literature also indicates that schools that offer bilingual education had both native and non-native students engaged in learning and participating actively in school and their community. There is a need for further investigation on this topic to ensure an increase on academic success for this population. The research question for this study addresses how educators instill cultural pride and ownership in students related to their heritage. This study followed a qualitative research design with a purposeful sample of professionals who were selected because of their expertise and experience in working with Latino students in school settings. An interview protocol was designed to gather data on the research question. Results indicated that further research needs to address the impact of cultural preservation particularly with the Spanish speaking population and students’ academic success.

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