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Title:Mexican-American High School Students and the Role of Literacy Across Home-School-Community Settings
Author(s):Godina, Heriberto
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Georgia Earnest Garcia
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Reading
Abstract:The findings indicated that students demonstrated different literacy practices in their homes and community than those acknowledged at school. In school, Mexican background students were viewed in terms of their limited English status and were mostly enrolled in low academic tracks. Mexican American students who were fluent bilinguals were not recognized for their linguistic proficiency. The speaking of Spanish in informal settings was not condoned by the school culture, and no bilingual reference materials were available for students to use independently. The use of bilingual translators by teachers who had no ESL training resulted in confusion and subsequent discipline problems. The Spanish language program benefited White students who informally used Mexican background students as tutors. When school personnel accommodated the linguistic needs of the limited-English students through a Sheltered-English Approach and cooperative learning in Science and Health, students successfully participated in content-area instruction. School personnel remained unaware that English class may not be the best place for second-language learners to learn English. In the community, the local newspaper rarely featured stories about the Mexican families. However, the town library was an important locale for literacy learning because it provided culturally relevant reading material. At home, most students had monolingual Spanish-speaking parents and home literacy practices encompassed translation activities, functional literacy, and reading for entertainment. The lost opportunities for effective literacy learning at school ignored the "real life" responsibilities and potential of Mexican background students. This study should inform school personnel and researchers interested in the academic achievement of Mexican background students.
Issue Date:1998
Description:278 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9904466
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1998

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