Parental motivations and attitudes toward a Spanish two-way immersion program in the Midwest

Date
2008-01-01
Authors
Romero-gonzalez, Mariana
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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the attitudes, motivations, and experiences of a group of Latino Spanish-speaking and Anglo English-speaking parents whose children were participating as kindergarten and first grade students in a new Spanish two-way immersion (TWI) program in a Midwest state. This study employed a phenomenological methodology in combination with Gardner's (1985) attitude theory, Dornyei's (1990) attitude classification and Baker's (1992) attitude toward bilingualism theory, which were used to analyze parents' responses. Personal and phone interviews were conducted to explore the parents' knowledge of TWI programs, reasons for enrolling their child, and the activities and experiences of having their child in the TWI program. Latino parents and Anglo parents expressed similar motivations for enrolling their children in the program: bilingualism, biliteracy, and better job opportunities in the future. Latino parents expressed preservation of cultural heritage as one of the main reasons for having their child in the program, while Anglo parents shared a desire for their child to learn a second language at an early age. Anglo parents with multicultural families shared some of the same reasons for their child's enrollment in the program as Latino parents. Parents offered recommendations for better communication between the school and parents in order to stimulate greater parent collaboration and involvement to achieve an even more successful TWI program.

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Bilingual Education, Language Attitudes and Motivations, Parents, Two-way immersion program
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