Latino Immigrants in School Term Paper

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Latinos Immigrants in School

The United States of America has quite a number of minority groups having their origins from various parts of the world, some in large numbers while some are very few in numbers and according to data provided by the United States Census Bureau in the year 2003, the Latino population is the largest of all the minority groups especially among the students or those within the school-age (U.S. Census Bureau, 2003; Pew Hispanic Center, 2005). Even though all minority groups are present in the schools, the rapid growth of the Latino students, which is estimated to be three to five times faster than that of the general population (Sondra et al., 2006), has spurred a lot of concerns and studies in trying to find out solutions to the problems that they face while in school. Most of these problems arise due to the differences that exist both culturally and in terms of language since English is a second language to them. Data have been presented that indicate that the population of students who spoke a different language from English have been increasing every year thus educators are under pressure to provide effective language programs to such students and the use of bilingual programs have been suggested by many. The one mistake that has taken place for a long tie now is that the school programs that were offered for Latino students focused more on addressing language hurdles than cultural barriers since they did not include counseling services.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Latino Immigrants in School Assignment

The effect of the brisk increase in the numbers of the Latino has been greatly felt in the United States schools and it is estimated that 20 years from now Latino students between the age of 5 and 18 will make up a quarter of the total school population (Fracasso & Busch-Rossnagel, 1992). Considering such a high population, it is very crucial that they succeed in school thus reports indicating that they are predisposed to failing in the current American educational system point out that serious steps need to be taken. The evidence for this predisposition lies in the fact that the rate at which Latino students dropout is higher compared to any other group within the United States with the dropout rate of White students being half that of the Latinos. This is also stressed by the fact that only half of those above 24 years of age have successfully gone through high school education. The Latino students have also exhibited a lower level of participation in the system of education in comparison to other minority groups thus it seems that in promoting school success the Latino families and the youth can be very instrumental.

The lack of participation in educational system and the high dropout rates can be attributed to various factors, the first issue is that the Latinos may have a feeling that they do not fully understand whatever material presented to them by their instructors even if they actually do since they view it as a foreign idea. They may also be depressed due to the movement from their original place of residence since they were already familiar with the culture back there, hence, they may view the new culture and practices differently and strange thus making them feel homesick. Another issue that affects them is the pressure that they may have both from school and home which may confuse them further and they may not be willing to learn a new language, additionally, they may not know where to get assistance of whom to ask for assistance whenever they need due to fear.

Programs that help Latinos in school

In the 1960s there was a great resistance and unrest that arose from the minority groups within the United States who were demanding for equity, civil rights for all, and peace which led to the implementation of bilingual education to redress the inequality that had existed in the education sector which brought challenge to the linguistic groups. During this period, there were no properly defined programs to handle this and there were no specific goals. This led to the development of about six major program models, these did not come up at once but they did over time. These different programs are important in assisting the Latino immigrant students to comprehend the language and to improve their performance in school, in addition to this, they also make them more comfortable by reducing the pressure and confusion they faced while trying to learn the language.

Two-way immersion program

In this model both native English speakers and non-English native language speakers are incorporated and get the chance of learning each other's language while at the same time undergoing a very thorough academic program. Bilingualism and biliteracy is the main aim of this program in which case both groups are able to benefit from the new ideas that they learn. Even though the initial idea for this program was born in the early 1960s the model was not easily replicated by other districts until in the 1980s. At the moment this model is sought by many bilingual educators and they intend to establish it since the results look very positive. There are three major predicators that have been identified to impact the academic success of students with regard to this model. The first one is a case where the first and second language of the student is used all through their experience in education especially incorporated in the composite instructions, and the second case is where interactive learning among peers forms the basis for the learning strategies which is also applicable between students and teachers. The third instance is where the socio-cultural environment is viewed to be dependent on the academic curriculum (Collier, 1995).

For a model to be successful, there must be some critical features that it must have and for this model there are four such features that have been identified to greatly contribute to its success, these include; knowledgeable leadership and continuity, pedagogical equity, active parent participation, and effective bilingual teachers (Alanis & Rodriguez, 2008).

Transitional bilingual program

The use and application of this program has become popular due to the fact that the use of primary language is widespread especially within the lower primary grades. The major aim of this model is transitioning the students into classes of English-language and this should take place immediately they reach a particular level of proficiency in English. Even though at the initial stages the class is homogenous, that is it is made up of children from the same background, native English speakers are afterwards brought into the class more often at the second grade (Arce, 2004).

Maintenance or developmental bilingual program

This model has had the characteristic of providing far-reaching instruction when used especially in the primary language and this has been recorded right through the elementary grades. This model does not only target at developing literacy in English but also has the aim of strongly developing the native language of the students and it is formulated in such a way that the instructional time for English is increased at the fourth and fifth grades (Arce, 2004). Given that the native language is incorporated the class has to be homogenous for ease and to avoid confusing the students, thus only the students from the focus language are put together. It should also be noted that for effectiveness it is common to find teachers who are native speakers handling such classes and the teachers also are often close to the parents of such students.

Latinos and school counseling

As mentioned earlier it is very important that culturally responsive school counseling services are integrated within the curriculum and this is actually a necessity for the effective education of the Latinos. When such counseling services are incorporated then there will be a sense of equity and educational justice as it will provide equal access of all resources to all the students. One may wonder why such counseling is necessary but this has been advocated after the historical failure of Latino students, especially children and adolescents, as compared to their White age mates. There can be a mistrust and discomfort existing between the parents and the students due to the distinct levels of proficiency in English. This mistrust can also arise due to the inadequate understanding that they have of the academic institution and this mistrust is mostly towards the schools and the school officials. It is also a common knowledge that Latino students face the challenge of language barrier and discrimination both within and outside the educational system, not mentioning their level of poverty, all these factors combined can cause them numerous difficulties psychosocially thus there is need for individuals who understand and can deal with such impacts and address the specific needs of these students (Sondra, et al., 2006).

In order to ever realize any change, a positive one for that, it is necessary that the educational community not only appreciates but also thoroughly addresses particular values that are… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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