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AULAS DE ENLACE: A STUDY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A PILOT COMPENSATORY EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR NON-SPANISH SPEAKING NEWCOMER STUDENTS IN MADRID, SPAIN

by Inglés, María Dolores

Abstract (Summary)
This study investigates the recent implementation of the Escuelas de Bienvenida program (Welcome Schools), in the Autonomous Community of Madrid (CAM). Specifically, it focuses on the Aulas de Enlace, one integral part of the program. This research investigates the participants everyday experiences, and the perceptions and meanings attached to those experiences while in the program. Additionally, the study identifies the factors that affect participant perceptions, analyzes the impact of the program on student learning, and documents their intentions to continue to post-compulsory education. The study also attempts to uncover the match between the official policy and the participants lived experiences and perceptions of the program. The participants in this study were 116 recently arrived Chinese, Moroccan and Romanian secondary students, 36 Aulas de Enlace teachers, 3 principals, 2 inspectors and 2 policy and decision makers. Research was conducted in 23 high schools in the CAM, and four were selected for case studies. Methods of data collection included survey questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, participant and non-participant observation, and document analysis. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, content analysis, and member checking. This research shows that program design, implementation and practice do not reflect the research literature on second language acquisition and effective immigrant minority education. Consequently, policy and practice are guided by misconceptions that do not influence positively the education of immigrant children. Furthermore, this research shows that the Spanish language learning goals of the program are not achieved equally by all children, and integration into the Spanish education system is not uniformally realized. This finding renders the claim that the program provides equal education for all invalid. The study also shows that program planning and implementation were not carefully undertaken, which resulted in stereotypical views of minority students. Stereotypes are posited to affect the teachers interactions with children and their expectations of performance. The findings of the study raise questions about the political motivations behind program implementation. This study underscores the importance of giving voice to the constituents of educational innovations. In doing so, I hope to promote conversation that will lead to more thoughtful and informed policy making and practice.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Richard Donato; G. Richard Tucker; Bruce Stiehm; John Beverley

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:hispanic languages and literatures

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/30/2007

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