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TNLI: Action Research: Curriculum Implementation: Family Literacy and Parent Support


By Quynh Vu

Research Question
Do children of Family Literacy participants experience increased academic support as a result of their parents acquiring English? Do participants of Family Literacy use their acquired English language skills to become more involved parents at home and at school?

This intent of this research is to find out whether children of parents who participate in Family Literacy benefit academically as a result of participation in the program and how parents are helping their children succeed through the program. This research will also further investigate the level of academic parent involvement at school and at home to determine whether parents have transferred the skills they have learned in the program to their homes.

The results from this data may be used to help design a Family Literacy partner program for English proficient parents who also need English and literacy support for themselves and their children.

Research Study
This research study involved nineteen parent participants of a family literacy program at Orchard School in San Jose, California, during the 2003-2004 school year.

Analysis of Data
This study focused on the relationship between parents' participation in a family literacy program and their level of involvement with their child's.

This study revealed:

  • Parents practiced parenting skills learn in the program to improve ways in which they could support their children's learning
  • Parents used techniques for supporting literacy in the home thorough reading and naturally-occurring activities
  • Parents became more confident in their role as partners in the school community
  • Students of family literacy parents improved by at least one CELDT level
  • Non-English proficient parents are more like to be involved if they are informed in their home language

Policy Implications

This study conclusively confirms that there is a direct connection between parents who participate in the Family Literacy Program and the level of involvement expressed at home and school. Support must include funding necessary to provide the following:

  • Continued programming to include English instruction for non-English proficient parents
  • Expansion of the program to include new services for parents who are English proficient speakers who need literacy support for themselves and/or their children
  • Professional development for teachers on involving limited or non-English proficient parents in the school community that is ongoing and sustained

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