Thesis

Understanding Mexican American Parents' Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Language Learning.

Latino-Hispanic students currently begin their educational career learning less and underperforming their White counterparts. With this learning trajectory, Latino-Hispanic students are falling behind their peers, most notably within the core subject area of language arts. This achievement gap is a problematic issue that legislators, schools and educators continue to debate over how to effectively resolve. This study utilized a quantitative research approach to investigate attitudes and behaviors of Mexican American parents towards their children’s language learning. The purpose of this study was to understand the impact of parents’ language use, children’s language use at home, parents’ education levels, and household income on the perceptions of Mexican American parents with respect to their child’s language learning, the kinds of support they provide at home around language learning, and their engagement with school-based parental involvement activities. SPSS 22.0 was used to analyze the survey data. Descriptive statistics and mean scores were used to calculate frequencies of parental engagement and perceived value of language learning respectively. Overall, the findings suggest that Mexican American parents value their children’s language learning. Moreover, that they are involved with their child’s language learning in varying degrees. Implications of this study point towards more parent-teacher collaboration and a more efficient way of parent volunteer utilization in the classroom.

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