Masters Thesis

Parental involvement in monolingual Spanish-speaking communities

This study seeks to understand the experience of monolingual Spanish-speaking parents in regard to parental involvement in the education of their children in the San Joaquin Valley. Using a phenomenological approach, this study examined the narratives of 15 monolingual Spanish-speaking parents residing in the San Joaquin Valley, who had at least one child in the public K-12 education system. The analysis yielded several themes. First, monolingual Spanish-speaking parents engaged in different manners within the home and school settings. Home-based engagement included providing for their children financially, a home, basic essentials, helping with homework, keeping a close relationship with their children and guiding them through life using the medium of consejos. In the school setting parents expressed participating by attending school events when they were invited and assisting when they were asked by staff. Second, factors that influenced or deterred parents' involvement were being monolingual Spanish-speaking, positive and negative experiences in the schools, and lack of consideration to their needs by school personnel. Lastly, parents also provided suggestions that could assist in meeting their needs, including conducting Spanish only meetings, hire friendlier Spanish- speaking staff, having more interpreters readily available, and host meetings at later times of the day. The findings of this study can serve as a guide to those school districts that serve monolingual Spanish-speaking parents. School social worker can implement the necessary measures to strengthen relationships and best meet the needs of this parent community.

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