Parent Connection Research Paper
Being a parent and learning the ropes around your country’s school can be confusing. I can barely imagine being in a new country trying to find your way. These four articles are about people involved in ELL programs doing research and giving best practices in these programs. There are many barriers that immigrant parents can face. When coming into a new school these parents can experience a whirlwind of differences between how their culture and the school differ from their native country. A reoccurring theme that was brought up in the article was that there is a certain type of stigma placed on the programs offered at the school. In many cases the parents were not fully aware of what the program consisted of. Different cultures sometimes do not have parental involvement within their own schools; these parents can still be following their own customs that can negatively affect the student. The school can also try to reach the parent via flyer or phone, but this can cause a problem if the student has to translate. In this case, what message is the parent really receiving? Even if we can pass the first step of parental involvement, they still may have complications with trying to help the students because of their own language barrier. Helping their child with homework becomes an obstacle. In some countries there is not a set school structure or any importance of schooling. This is why it is imperative for teachers to get involved to best inform parents on how their child can be successful in an American school.
Within every part of a child's life parental involvement is imperative for their success. It is even more so when it comes to school, and on top of that, when you are in a new country. The first level of success of an English language learner teacher is when the parents become involved. Lack of information or clarity in a program can be mixed in whether they know about the program, know little or nothing at all (Lueck, 2011). This can only be fixed when teachers become involved to fully understand each parent and how we can help them within a new program. With the difficulties that hinder immigrant parents from involvement in school activities, I explored Cuban culture to help come up with an event that would strengthen parental involvement within this cultural group.
In the beginning of my research I interviewed Cindy Garcia, whose family emigrated here from Cuba. This gave me an understanding of the culture I was about to divulge into. Cuba today “is a unitary socialist republic. The government is totalitarian, exercising direct control or influence over most facets of Cuban life” (Levinson, 2014 para.1). Living in America it is hard for me to imagine a totalitarian government, but this puts in perspective why Cindy's parents “left for a better life” (Garcia, 2014). They also mention that “freedom of speech is severely curtailed, and several independent journalists have been imprisoned for allegedly insulting the president” (Levinson, 2014 para.6). Working in Cuba today consists of “in-kind contributions to the government by participating in mass organizations, volunteering for agricultural work, or meeting production quotas through overtime” (Levinson, 2014 para.7). That is an example extreme totalitarianism; they cannot express their own opinions in fear of being imprisoned. Many jobs are arranged by the state and if you are self-employed you are highly taxed (Levinson, 2014). With the country in control of what you can hear and in control of jobs being arranged, to me it seems that no matter what kind of education you have the country is in control of your family lifestyle. Many schools in Cuba and the Cuban culture consider primary education a top priority (Cuba education, n.d). One main difference in American schools and Cuban schools is they also find it necessary to integrate socialization. In the teenage years,