Thesis

Abstract of Translations from English to Spanish : an avenue to literacy for the Mexican American child

The purpose of this project was to develop a set of bilingual materials to help the Mexican American child acquire competence in understanding and reading English and Spanish. The justification for the development of such materials lies in a rationale which points up the need for Mexican American children to be bilingual and bicultural. The assumptions of such a rationale are: First, children need to have oral skills in the language in which they are to read; when the child's mother tongue is Spanish, he should receive initial instruction in Spanish. The transition to reading the second language will then be facilitated. Secondly, Bilingual Bicultural education helps the child gain confidence and pride in himself and his native language. Thirdly, teachers must have high levels of expectations for Mexican American children. These students must know that they are esteemed and valued as human beings. Fourthly, there is need for a broader definition of reading; reading is not mere decoding. Reading skills must not be fragmented, isolated, or separated. Children need to tune their ears to the sound of a sentence, a poem, or a story.

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