Parental Involvement: Examining the Beliefs and Practices of Hispanic Parents as Influenced by Their Levels of English Language Proficiency Resulting from Participation in Parent English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Curriculum and Instruction

Date of Award

Summer 2014


Hispanic parents lag behind other parent groups on the topic of school involvement due to a combination of factors, the most significant of which may be their limited English language proficiency. This mixed methods study examined the beliefs and practices of 52 Hispanic parents as influenced by their levels of English language proficiency resulting from participation in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Data collected from parent surveys for the five constructs of parents' beliefs about their roles in their children's education, efficacy in performing those roles, perceived climate of the schools in which their children are enrolled, frequency and kinds of involvement practices that they are engaged in, and perceived effectiveness of school-home communication were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results from a one-way multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) did not yield any significant differences except that parents with low intermediate English proficiency scored slightly higher than parents with high intermediate English proficiency in all constructs except in parental role construction. Descriptive statistics for the five dependent variables indicated the following: parents strongly agreed that it is their responsibility to show interest in their children's schoolwork and felt most strongly that they could motivate their children to do well in school. Additionally, parents felt welcomed at the schools and perceived that teachers cared about their children. Moreover, parents asked their children how well they are doing in school daily or on most days and believed that schools do a good job on inviting them to PTA/PTO meetings. In addition, the document collection revealed that schools mostly promoted volunteering activities through the written communications sent home to Hispanic parents. Constant comparative method was employed in the analysis of qualitative data drawn from interviews. Four major themes emerged from both parent groups: responses to school communications included written notes, face-to-face meetings, phone calls, and electronic mail messages, regardless of parent level of language proficiency, positive views on the importance of learning English, involvement both at school and home to support their children's education, and the positive impact of ESL classes on parents' efficacy beliefs to communicate in English.


Laura Chris Green

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Elementary Education