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How can language barriers be resolved in school systems?

How can language barriers in the school system be broken down?

What can be done to help the issue resolving language barriers?

Bridging Language Barriers by Regina Cortina Originally printed in School Business Affairs,
February 2006, Volume 72, No. 2 (2123).

U.S has largest number of Spanish speakers in the world besides Mexico.
Public schools in southern states are particularly being affected. With the
sizeable number of new immigrants arriving since the 1990s through
traditional gateways of immigration as well as new gateways within the
United States, the lack of resources to teach large numbers of students
whose home language is Spanish has reached a critical stage.
Long history of Public debate on the use of languages other than English in
public schools.
Go back in history- to ensure equality- Brown v. Board of Education decision
in 1954 which opened the way to equal participation in public schools
without affirming the right of minority groups to their own culture,
And the Bilingual Education Act in 1968, which provided supplemental
funding for school districts to teach students whose first language was not
o Funding provided to teach those that dont know English as their first
*****It began talking about health so I dont think this is valid

Academic Search Complete: Language barriers in education and United


4. Early Care and Education for Children in Immigrant Families

A substantial and growing share of the population, immigrant children are more likely than children with native-born
parents to face a variety of circumstances, such as low family income, low parental education, and language
barriers that place them at risk of developmental delay and poor academic performance once they enter school. Lynn
Karoly and Gabriella Gonzalez examine the current role of and future potential for early care and education (ECE)
programs in promoting healthy development for immigrant children. Participation in center-based care and preschool
programs has been shown to have substantial short-term benefits and may also lead to long-term gains as children
go through school and enter adulthood. Yet, overall, immigrant children have lower rates of participation in
nonparental care of any type, including center-based ECE programs, than their native counterparts. Much of the
participation gap can be explained by just a few economic and sociodemographic factors, the authors find. To some

extent, the factors that affect disadvantaged immigrant children resemble those of their similarly disadvantaged native
counterparts. Affordability, availability, and access to ECE programs are structural barriers for many immigrant
families, as they are for disadvantaged families more generally. Language barriers, bureaucratic complexity, and
distrust of government programs, especially among undocumented immigrants, are unique challenges that may
prevent some immigrant families from taking advantage of ECE programs, even when their children might qualify for
subsidies. Cultural preferences for parental care at home can also be a barrier. Thus the authors suggest that policy
makers follow a two-pronged approach for improving ECE participation rates among immigrant children. First, they
note, federal and state ECE programs that target disadvantaged children in general are likely to benefit disadvantaged
immigrant children as well. Making preschool attendance universal is one way to benefit all immigrant children.
Second, participation gaps that stem from the unique obstacles facing immigrants, such as language barriers and
informational gaps, can be addressed through the way publicly subsidized and private or nonprofit programs are

7. Barriers to literacy for language-minority learners: An argument for change in the

literacy education profession. (I dont think this article is related to my topic. It
discusses literacy education.
Students that dont know English will have limits in understanding, speaking,
reading, and writing in English.

We believe language-minority students have been systematically excluded from traditional attempts to
increase the reading performance levels of school-age children. Language-minority children in the United
States still are overrepresented among those performing poorly in school (August & Hakuta, 1997). What
does this mean?

Parent Involvement: Influencing Factors and Implication

Even though some teachers welcome parents to be involved to motivate

students, other teachers dont feel comfortable having students in the
Beliefs that working class and minority parents choose to not participate or
cannot participate because of language difference or limited education
(lack of education)
Recent research shows the primary factor for childrens educational success
or failure is parent interest and support.
Parent involvement positively affects classroom learning environment. (43)
Henderson states there are many positive outcomes for parents through
their increased involvement at school.
o Parents have a stronger bond/ positive attitude with teachers when
they are involved.

When parents work with children, they develop better attitudes.

Parents who are involved develop higher educational aspiration for
their children.
Some teachers do not believe that parents will understand or follow through
with activities, and, therefore, rarely initiate further parent involvement.
Relationship between teachers and parents is an uneasy one.
o Teachers may have little help in developing skills on how to engage
with the parents to get them involved.
There is tension between parents and teachers when parents do want to have
a voice in their childs education.
Some teachers also believe that parent involvement in teacher
responsibilities jeopardizes their professional status. Not all teachers and staff
members are comfortable with increased parent-school collaboration. (43)
This is an issue that can be addressed.
o Teachers who do not involve families tend to give Stereotypie
responses in discussions of single and less-educated parents, rating
them as less helpful and lacking follow through (Epstein, 1996). They
state that teachers are less likely to support parent-involvement

Parent reason for not being involved:

Parents intimidated by educational jargon, which impedes
communication between them and teachers.- The way a teacher
speaks, parents may not understand which is why there is a lack of
communication between them.
Issues that affect participation include: language, culture, and
socioeconomic barriers; limited educational backgrounds and parents
own negative school experiences.
o These are the reasons why parent involvement is limited
Parents want to be involved but are uncomfortable with teachers. (44)
Parents who approach teachers feel awkward when they do so.
Culture differences: parents see if the childs school validate their
language and culture.
The study was to evaluate how Mexican American parents are or are not involved
and what factors influenced there involvement.
-In Park Elementary School the dual language program eliminated the language
barrier that exist between Mexican American parents and school.
-Many of the faculty were fluent in English and Spanish.

Parents believe that it is the schools responsibility for educating their child
without them being involved. (Another argument)
Language barrier which is why the dual language program exist. Validates
both the English and Spanish languages.

This is seen as a factor when it comes to parents meetings where

discussions are dominantly English because English is the preferred
Research supports that Language seems to be the main reason that influence
parent involvement, but the staff at parker school seem to be working on this
-Meeting are discussed in both languages.
Parents education is also a factor.
o Parents dont have formal education in the U.S or Mexico.
o Parents say they cant help their children because their knowledge is
ABC Workshop: was it to help parents educational wise?
(49) Parent who spoke Spanish and had no formal education but looked out
help from the parent training specialist.
Teacher felt that there would be more work for her when the parent is
involved. (49) an extra burden
o While most teachers want parents involvement, few teachers see it as
extra work.

Parent involvement has many recognized benefits that may be increased if more
parents are involved in the schooling process. However, it is important to
understand that there is no precise method that will automatically lead to enhanced
parent involvement. (52)
-Its about time to gain trust and parents being informed.

While some parents feel as if they dont need to be involved in their childs
education because its the schools job. Other parents feel intimidated because of
language barrier and educational status. They want to be involved but dont
know how or need help. Teachers encourage parent involvement, while a few
see it as a burden.
(53) These factors need to be considered to increase parent involvement.

Question: What are the reasons why parents arent involved in their childs
education and school?
Thesis: It seems that language the language barrier is the reason why
parents arent involved in their childs education in school, however, it can be
the parents education level that doesnt permit them to communicate with
school faculty.
The two sources I want to use: the one you provided for me:
Parent Involvement: Influencing Factors and Implications

I want to use:
Early Care and Education for children in Immigrant Families
Based on the abstract. Im going to find a way to access the full article.
The first source is helpful for background information.