Needs of Hispanic and American Children and Adolescents – Juan’s Case Study

Children from Latino background in middle, elementary and grade schools not only do they confront many risks and encounter development needs, they, also, have to balance the value expectations of both cultures (Hispanic and the US) in order to make their way in school and life (Perez & Romo, 2011). It is worth noting that, in the lives of Hispanic children, elementary and grade schools represent critical sessions. They provide children with opportunities to discover their academic talents and potential professional skills. Besides, this critical session is, also, influential in children’s’ decisions to embark on the correct path to being responsible adults or lead a misguided life.

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 In Juan’s case; for instance, is clear for one to note that both the school and Ms. Romano are not acting in the best interest of the child. It is unethical for Ms. Romano to ignore Juan especially when she notices facial expressions that indicate fear. She ought to have talked to him to encourage him. The method they implemented to incorporate Juan into the US grade school system was not appropriate enough. The best alternative would have been to attach Juan to older Hispanic pupils who could act as older siblings. These siblings could act as mentors to Juan to teach him the techniques that could assist him become familiar with the English culture of the United States. This approach is appropriate because, in most Hispanic families, older siblings do have more capacities than parents and teachers to orient young pupils to schooling (Perez & Romo, 2011). They, also, assist in modeling desirable school and home behaviour that both parents and teachers would encourage. In Juan’s case, therefore, such older Hispanic students would assist to orient him English culture.

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 Another significant thing that should have happened was for the school and Ms. Romano to asses Juan’s reading and writing skills before enrolling him to second grade. This is because English is a new and strange culture to him; in this case, therefore, the school administration should have advised Juan’s parents to enroll him for private English classes to improve his skills before joining the rest. As the school administration and Ms. Romano facilitate this to happen, they require acknowledging that the school system is among the top institutions, which immigrant children meet in their new environment (Pinter & Garcia, 2012). However, issues of acculturation may be difficult to cope with and may, in some cases, obstruct or slow down an academic process. In the long run, there comes a noticeable in difference academic performance of Hispanic immigrants and those of other ethnic backgrounds (Pinter & Garcia, 2012). Examples of stress factors that affect children in this new environment include cultural values, education, cultural traditions, and language differences (Saenz & Junn, 1999). In considering all these factors, the school, Ms. Romano and Juan’s parents should consider attaching him to a child psychological expert or (counselor) to attend to him and provide assistance during the acculturation process.   

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The most effective approach for helping children to learn English begins with teachers. Teachers should be careful in their plans to ensure that children from diverse backgrounds participate in educational facilities that are of high interest especially if they have personal significance. It is common knowledge to every teacher that it is never easy teaching students in a language that they do not understand. Each school should have a program for helping children with limited English proficiency to attend in order to improve their English skills. Such a program should have a session for English as second language for children learning English to attend special classes (Perez & Romo, 2011). The schools, also, should apply pull out system where children spent a section of the day doing general education activities in the classroom, and spent the other part attending special bilingual classes (Pinter & Garcia, 2012). Parents, also, can assist teachers by arranging for individualized tutorial sessions at home.  This approach is significant in the sense that it assists children to learn new concepts during classroom activities while they learn English on the side. It is, also, worth noting that bilingual teachers are the most appropriate teachers for handling language skills of such children.

In the case of Juan; for instance, it is not appropriate that the school tests of learning disabilities. This is because; in his former school, he was an average second grade student, which implies that he does have any learning disabilities. Ms. Romano’s proposal to refer Juan to a special school is not relevant at all. She requires asking for specific details about Juan such as a record of his performance in his former school. By that, she would understand that Juan has average learning abilities and, therefore, only requires assistance in acculturation.

It is, therefore, significant for Ms. Romano to learn that Juan is a Hispanic boy, and does not use English as his first language. His language is Spanish, and he, therefore, should learn English in order to compete with the rest of his classmates in his new school. There are number of reasons that contribute to minorities being overrepresented in special classes. The main reason is that the educators base their assessment on English abilities. Most minorities especially immigrants normally merit for special classes because of the poor English skills that they exhibit during assessments (Pinter & Garcia, 2012). Therefore, it is significant for teachers to incessantly assess their own beliefs and understandings regarding the influence of culture, class and race when assessing children for special classes. It is; however, clear that overrepresentation of such minorities in special classes is an impediment to educational equity in the United States (Perez & Romo, 2011).   

In conclusion, Children from Latino background in middle, elementary and grade schools not only do they confront many risks and encounter development needs, they, also, have to balance the value expectations of both cultures (Hispanic and the US) in order to make their way in school and life. In Juan’s case; for instance, is clear for one to note that both the school and Ms. Romano are not acting in the best interest of the child. Another significant thing that should have happened was for the school and Ms. Romano to asses Juan’s English reading and writing skills before enrolling him to second grade. The most effective approach for helping children to learn English begins with teachers. Teachers should be careful in their plans to ensure that children from diverse backgrounds participate in educational facilities that are of high interest especially if they have personal significance. In the case of Juan; for instance, it is not appropriate that the school tests of learning disabilities. This is because; in his former school, he was an average second grade student, which implies that he does have any learning disabilities.

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