Tina Struyk

As a result of my experiences teaching and working with Spanish speaking students I decided that I wanted to become an educator.  One point of interest for me as a future teacher is how the different teaching approaches regarding second language learners affect the first language of these children. Language forms part of our cultural identity and many Latin Americans are in an identity crisis between two psychological borders.  Language also is the way we communicate and maintain relationships with our family and friends.  Many third generation Latin Americans struggle to communicate with their grandparents and parents.  There are many language programs with different instructional approaches such as English as a Second Language (ESL) and Bilingual education.  It is important to access the goals of these language programs and there possible implications on the Latino community.  It is my belief that if Spanish speaking elementary students experience instructional approaches with little or no Spanish language input then they will perform poorer on Spanish language activities than students who experienced instructional approaches that include first language usage.  Throughout the summer and fall of 2006 Spanish speaking students and their teachers will be surveyed in local elementary schools.  Both students and teachers will fill out a questionnaire.  Students will also complete a writing activity designed to determine fluency. The purpose of this project is to address the effects such programs have on the Spanish language and any possible consequences this might have on individuals, families, and communities.  I would also like to suggest some possible solutions that would allow for a healthier diverse nation.

Faculty Mentor: Zulema Moret

Page last modified July 14, 2009