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2011 - 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society Words: 249 words || 
1. Straubhaar, Rolf. "Being a "good student": The translation of Mexican immigrant students' previous academic experiences to a central Texas high school" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2019-08-20 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Facilitating the transition of immigrant students into the American school system has long been a focus of both American educational research and policy, as the heterogeneity of immigrant populations has made simplistic solutions untenable. Focusing upon an English immersion high school (hereafter referred to as Literacy High) for immigrants in Central Texas, the aim of the present research was to discover what aspects of Mexican immigrant students' previous academic experiences in Mexican schools promoted their achievement at Literacy High. Basing itself upon a general Bourdieuian framework focused upon cultural capital, as well as Yosso's (2006, 2007) theory of “community cultural wealth”, this study used ethnographic methods to look for evidence of cultural attributes held by Mexican tenth grade students that contributed positively to their English literacy development and performance in their Literacy High coursework. The study found that, primarily, Mexican students at Literacy High are assisted in their coursework by their previously developed aspirational capital (i.e. their ability to maintain their hopes and dreams for a better future even when faced with real and perceived barriers) and navigational capital (i.e. their ability to maneuver through social institutions, in this case the educational system, particular through their use of “good manners”). These characteristics enable them to pass their classes in American school settings. However, this high achievement in terms of grades does not necessarily translate into complete English literacy, especially oral literacy. These findings will be discussed at length, as well as their potential policy implications.

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