Cultural Comparisons Of Mexican And Caribbean Islander Immigrants

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Cultural Comparisons of Mexican and Caribbean Islander Immigrants
Renae E. Sevigny
Western Governor’s University

The culture of a classroom is a direct reflection of the people who comprise it. All people carry their customs, traditions, and beliefs with them everywhere they go. It is important for teachers to understand the similarities and differences of the students they teach. Mexican and Islander students make up a large majority of students in Federal Way. Teachers must take into account the whole student and the home culture. More specifically, teachers must examine the roles that language acquisition, attitudes towards time, and family relationships play in a students’ ability to succeed. A closer look at these important components of culture can help teachers and students to avoid the misunderstanding and confusion that can take place in a multicultural classroom.

The importance of Language Acquisition in Mexican Immigrant Students An impressive 16.2% of students in the Federal Way public school system self-identify as Hispanic (U.S. Census, 2013) [primary]. Of these students, 23.9% are foreign born (U.S. Census, 2013) [primary]. These students are often multilingual, switching to Spanish when home. In fact, 32.4 percent of students speak a different language at home (U.S. Census, 2013) [primary]. It should not come as a surprise that language is a major component of one’s culture. Most American schools place a heavy emphasis on
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