First Advisor

Marjorie Terdal

Term of Graduation

Summer 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

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


Applied Linguistics




Education -- Parent participation, Linguistic minorities -- Education (Elementary), Home and school, English language -- Study and teaching (Elementary) -- Foreign speakers



Physical Description

1 online resource, (136p.)


Few would dispute the tremendous impact that parents have on the intellectual, emotional, and social development of their children. An important issue in child second language acquisition is whether, or to what extent, parental attitudes and behaviors are associated with the success of language minority children in elementary ESL and mainstream classroom settings. The effects of parental educational values and expectations, and parental perception of ability to assist in the educational journey of their offspring, have been the focus of much research regarding majority language children. However, research exploring the beliefs and behaviors of language minority parents and their relationship to their children's second language acquisition and overall school success has not been nearly as extensive.

Using a quantitative approach, data were collected via a questionnaire from twenty-three language minority parents whose children were enrolled in a public elementary ESL program. The thirty-six children were administered two English language proficiency tests, and their first and second quarter grade reports were also collected.

The data generated reveal that parental perception of efficacy appears to be an important element in a child's English reading achievement. Additionally, children of parents who read a magazine or newspaper with some frequency tend to score higher on reading proficiency. The data also indicate that language minority parents value education highly, and expect their children to be diligent with their schoolwork.


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