It is clear that with the rise of English as a Second Language based students, more must be done to bridge the linguistic and cultural gap between the schools and their curriculum, and the culturally-diverse children and especially parents. In fact, the text cites over 5 million children in this situation enrolled in the 2005-2006 school year–a rather staggering and telling statistic.
This can be a challenge, especially when the text states that the optimal learning environment is one that contains a “true partnership” between educators and parents. In fact, interestingly enough, it was the teachers themselves that stated that the language barrier is the biggest thing that separate these parents from being active participants in their child’s education. Naturally, however, it is not only the parents who can be faulted for this situation.
The text cites the low amount of schools that take into account the ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds of the children, and especially the parents. Because often curriculums are relatively universal, there are naturally many cultural differences between the parents, and what their children are being taught in public schools.
Table One is particularly enlightening for many reasons. Number one, it certainly addresses many of the concerns expressed above. Secondly, it gives actual real life solutions that address the encompassing issues of social, religious, or cultural differences from all facets. In particular, the simple gesture of using bilingual posters and notices home to parents is not only more welcoming, but initiates a dialogue in some sense.
Because much of the population in question do in fact reside in urban areas, this is very important when looking at one statement made in particular by the author–that urban students do perform better in school with active home participation. This hits the main point of the text perfectly–facilitating a more encompassing cultural connection with parents who have a linguistic or cultural barrier benefits the students infinitely.