First Advisor

Marjorie Terdal

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Teaching English as a Second Language


Hispanic Americans -- Services for, English language -- Study and teaching -- Spanish speakers, Hispanic Americans -- Communication, Hispanic Americans -- Social conditions



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vi, 143 p.)


Latino communities frequently face barriers in the midst of largely English speaking and mostly Anglo-American culture surrounding communities. These surrounding communities often may be somewhat resistant to adjusting to their changing populations. This case study is a linguistic needs assessment of a Latino community in a small city and neighboring town in the Northwest. Discussed are experiences, needs, and opinions of thirty Latina mother participants in regards to living in this community. Participants, all of whom were monolingual Spanish or limited English proficiency recent immigrants, were recruited through a social service agency serving low income Latinos. The study used observation, ethnographic-style notetaking, theme identification, and questionnaire development based on these themes, with short interviews. Seven themes were identified as central to participants' lives: general language issues, employment, housing, utility companies and social service agencies, medical care, child care and schools, and domestic violence. Implications are that more affordable housing, child care, and higher paying jobs would ameliorate the lives of these low-income Latino families. Also, more bilingual and culturally competent people are needed as property managers, employers, teachers, social service workers, and especially doctors, nurses, and medical receptionists for Latino families to have equal access and for the surrounding community to integrate with its changing population. Recommendations for English as a second language programs include development of curriculum relevant to Latina mothers' lives and teaching of linguistic strategies for living in the surrounding community. Concluding is a recommendation that studies with similar research questions be carried out in the surrounding community and in other Latino communities so, in comparing results, broader statements can be made about this population.


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Persistent Identifier