Migrant Students’ Perspectives Essay

947 words - 4 pages

As migrant and English language learner the transition of living and studying in México to El Paso, is not an easy for any age student. I immigrated to El Paso when I was in my last year of high school and wanting to pursue a career at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. My father decided for the family and we were moved to a school in El Paso. In the high school I attended for about three months, I was placed on tenth grade and in regular classes. I just had one hour daily of English as a second language instruction. The system back in the 1980’s on ESL classes was not as they are in schools now. They made me feel like I did not had other option but to droop school, which eventually I did when I realized that I was going to be placed in the special education department. My self-esteem went down the hill and I was not willing to comply with what the school wanted. Especially if I was coming from almost finishing high school with an average of 9 of a 10 grade scale, I felt that it was not fair for me to be place in the special education department just because I had limited English proficiency. Fifteen years after I had drooped school, I returned to school and learn English at El Paso Community College, and now I am pursuing my master degree as instructional specialist in bilingual education. Coming from another country with different, or similar, family values affect the students’ learning and the way that other look at those students, especially in schools.
The migrant population, from different backgrounds, is increasing the numbers of children learning English in the United States. The children whose first language (L1) is other than English inability to communicate is the main issue they are facing during the transition. Regardless of the instruction, they received in they born country and how literate are the child’s parents, in order to understand the process of learning a second language, teachers should be aware of the linguistic development, learning culture, and the community surrounding the children. According to Hammers and Blanc (1989), the development of acquiring to linguistic codes by an individual includes the perception of the different community in which they are learning (p. 123). Ovando, Combs & Collier (2006) argue that many migrant families preserved their language, traditions, and life style they had in their country of origin in the United States. The family would speak just its L1 and then younger generations learn L2 once they are integrated in U.S. schools.
Students are merged in the process of learning a new language, a language that probably is not spoken at home, which will add a difficulty to the learning process. Adding to the processes the fact that...

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