Thesis Title

Overcoming Language and Cultural Barriers in School: Helping Hispanic Students Acquire Success in Elementary School

Graduation Date

Spring 2011

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD

Abstract

Research shows that Hispanic second language students are not as successful as their English-speaking peers in school. The problem is in part due to several factors: curriculum deliverance in a foreign language, cultural differences, and family/school disconnect. Current census reports reveal that Hispanic populations in the United States, and therefore within public schools, are on the rise. With the passing of the 2002 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind, mainstream classroom curriculum instruction is now primarily taught in English. Without honoring the many languages and cultures that California students bring to the classroom, the disconnect between school and home deepens. This study followed qualitative design research using the interview format to research ways to more fully integrate Hispanic students and their families into the public school system. Teachers and administrators served as participants in data collection. Results indicated that honoring Hispanic culture within the curriculum and broadening the definition of parent participation, Hispanic students and families feel more connected to the educational process.

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