Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


In this action research project the author employed a qualitative, case study approach to interview seven parents/guardians of extreme language minority students who attended the elementary school at which he worked. Because the community was composed of mostly Mexican immigrants, the needs of those students whose first language is neither English nor Spanish were often overlooked. Both professional and popular literature are reviewed in the relevant areas: language diversity and policies, demographic trends in the U.S., relative effectiveness of language programs in schools, transfer of skills from L1 to L2, culture's effects on learning, comparative learning styles, SES's effects on academic success, immigrant status' effects on scholastic achievement and diversity between and within ethnicities. Using a grounded theory approach, five themes emerged from the interviews: immigration (reasons, assimilation), language (loss of L1, value of English), education (satisfaction with academics, dissatisfaction with lax discipline), culture (value of additive, hybrid identity) and expectations (pride in good behavior and academic success). Conclusions and recommendations are offered.


Thesis (M.A.) School of Education