Parents and Teachers Talk About Literacy and Success

CIERA Report #3-020

Marjorie Faulstich Orellana, Northwestern University
Karen Monkman, University of Southern California
Laurie MacGillivray, University of Southern California


CIERA Inquiry 3: Policy and Profession
How do parents and teachers in a Mexican/Central American immigrant community talk about "successful development" for children?

In this report, we examine emic views of "success" in a central Los Angeles community that is home to recent immigrants from Mexico and Central America. We draw from multiple data sources (fieldnotes based on participant observations in homes, classrooms, and community programs; transcriptions of four focus groups with parents; and notes on informal and semi-formal interviews with parents and teachers) in order to examine how parents and teachers talk about children's academic and social development. We draw implications for teachers and researchers working in immigrant communities.













University of Michigan School of Education

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This paper was originally presented at the annual meeting of the National Reading Conference in Austin, TX, on December 3, 1998. The research on which it is based was funded and supported by the Center for the Improvement of Reading Education, the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Pathways through Middle Childhood, and the Institute of Human Development at the University of California Berkeley. Thanks to the parents, children, and teachers whose voices inform this report.


Contact information:

Marjorie Faulstich Orellana
School of Education and Social Policy
Northwestern University
2115 N. Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60202