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Oaxacan parents’ perceptions of literacy learning Lopez, Mario E.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to learn about the perceptions that Oaxacan parents, from three different socio-economic status (SES) groups, have about literacy learning. This study intended to answer the following research questions: (1) Are the Oaxacan parents' perceptions of literacy learning consistent with an emergent literacy model? (2) To what extent do these perceptions differ among the three different socio-economic groups? (3) What do Oaxacan parents do to help their children learn to read and write? (4) What did the parents and teachers of the parents interviewed ask them to do to learn to read and write? A survey was adopted for this study. Forty parents were interviewed. A thirtythree- Likert-Type-item-structured interview plus two open-ended questions were used. The interviews were recorded, and then transcribed in their entirety. Results showed that most Oaxacan parents held beliefs consistent with an emergent literacy model. On the other hand, they also held notions consistent with a traditional model. There were more similarities than differences between the SES groups. There were only three items in which the three SES groups differed. Moreover, results showed that Oaxacan parents help their children become literate by providing a wide variety of activities. Reading to/with children was the most valued activity by Oaxacan parents. Finally, most parents were asked to work on literacy skills to learn to read and write. Most parents had to do "endless" letter, syllable and word drills. A limitation of this study was the sample being too small. Implications for researchers, curriculum designers, and teachers were drawn based on the results of this study. It was concluded that this survey should be applied in every classroom as away to learn more about the child's environment and build on his/her previous knowledge and that a library is urgently needed in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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