Creating Nurturing Environment in Mexican American Schooling 

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Over the years the number of Mexican American students attending school has increased dramatically. These individuals are a fast growing and diverse section of the student population in the United States. They are faced with many challenges such as keeping up with their grade level content, learning the English language and adapting to new culture. Most of the time these individuals don't receive the same opportunities as others due to their backgrounds. The topic of Mexican Americans and schooling should be or is important to all who are involved in schools such as teachers, parents, and administrators. The reason for this is because the background of a student's life affects the way they act in schools so if they do not know the language they more than likely will not pay much attention making it hard for the teacher to figure out what they need help with. Overall this paper will go into detail about the history of Mexican Americans in schools, focusing on the effects their language has on their education.

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Mexican Americans started in America in the year 1848 due to the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This is where the Anglo Americans took over a portion of Mexico. The Mexicans that were already in this section were then known as citizens and were recognized as white. Even Though they were known as whites they were not seen as equal to the actual whites because of the language they spoke. With that being said it's clear that the topic has a history beyond Georgia because it was seen in present day New Mexico, California, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and three other states. Over time the language of Mexican Americans has advance but individuals from the earlier years struggles with learning a new language which made their life's complicated in the united states.

Most people saw Mexican Americans to be set up for academic failure. They had reasons such as the stress of minority status, economic hardships, discrimination, difficulty with the language, and even having non-English speaking parents that are unfamiliar with the education system. (Gonzales, p.15) In the article The Academic Resilience of Mexican American High School Students the author talks about some studies that have shown that low economic status is strongly associated with Poor academic performance. Young individuals are likely to live in low socioeconomic status neighborhoods that have poor housing conditions, inadequate public and social services and schools that don’t have a sufficient funds to provide the students with the high-quality education. The reasoning for this is because parents who come here not knowing the language are most likely to live in poorer areas because they don't really see a difference. With children being in these areas it sets them up for poor academic progress. Mexican American that do not live in poverty could still be at risk for unfavorable circumstances due to the stress that is associated with acculturation (Gonzalez, p.302). They might encounter stressful situations when they try to integrate two cultured backgrounds. This was demonstrated in a study found in the article Cultural Frame Switching and Emotions among Mexican Americans. This study demonstrates that students who are by cultural shift between interpretive frames in different cultures when they respond to situations (Kreitler, p.13). The results came out to be participants who were primed with American reported less external attributions and less positive emotion than those who are primed with Mexicans.

The individuals who have the most impact on Mexican American language are the Spanish speaking parents of children in schools. Since the students’ parents only know one language the child tends to go into school only speaking that language. This causes children to then fall behind academically because they do not understand English so they have to take a step further in actually trying to learn it. Most people believe the idea that public schools provide opportunities for moving up in society equally but this isn't always true because many individuals have different educational paths (Ballon, p.17). This is something that is still seen today because many individuals who come here not knowing the language have to take classes that help them learn it and even then they are placed in classes that are not as advanced. Some outcomes that there are for Mexican American Students in schooling are higher dropout rates, they barley meet the lowest requirements for graduation which makes them not be academically prepared for college. This could cause a disadvantage for the student’s social or academic success. These students receive fewer opportunities to learn than those who already speak English. The environment in which language skills are learned is important for children of Latino immigrants. These students will struggle academically and they might suffer socially. Academic and social weaknesses can worsen as the children go into higher grade levels. Students who have trouble with the language are likely to be placed in special education classes because they have a limited English proficiency.

Today in history there isn't much of a problem with the new generation of Mexican Americans knowing English. Over the years they have come up with a strategy to help these non-English speaking students. Mexican American students are now taught English early in their bilingual classes. Before they started this these children were taught Spanish as their first language. In the article a prospective study of a Mexican American adolescent’s academic success: Considering family and individual factors they discuss how Mexican American Youth are at a higher risk of school failure than all of the other students (Cham, p.43). They focused on the parent’s education levels, family structure, bilingualism, and immigrant status. It has been proven that parents who have completed at least all the way to secondary education are most likely prepared to help their children through the education system. This is still a major issue today because people come from Mexico come here with less than a secondary education because over there they are not required to attend School, and maybe some of them dropped out.

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