Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Early Literacy Learning among Mexican Origin Children: The Social Construction of Meaning in PreSchool Classrooms

Harriett Romo, Claire Avis Andres.

Three and four-year old Mexican immigrant and Mexican American children frequently construct meaning in different ways than intended by their English speaking teachers. This research is based on an ethnographic study of Texas classrooms focusing on early literacy instruction. The paper explores the classroom interactions in an intervention project intended to create language and print rich environments for pre-school age learners. Analysis of discourse of child-teacher interactions demonstrates the ways language and cultural differences create miscommunications and barriers to learning. The paper concludes with a discussion of factors that help and hinder the implementation of early literacy instruction in Latino preschool classrooms.


Harriett Romo  (United States)
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
The University of Texas at San Antonio

Dr. Romo has taught in Nicaragua and inner city Los Angeles. She studies Latino families and immigrant children and their experiences with education. She is the author of Latino High School Graduation, 1996, UT Press about the school experiences of Mexican origin students. She is co-author of the sociology textbook Racial and Ethnic Relations in America, Allyn & Bacon Press. She is currently PI of a research study of San Antonio, Texas as a Transnational Community, a project funded by The Rockefeller Foundation. She has also directed projects funded by the Ford Foundation on public policy research, the U.S. Department of Education, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on issues affecting Latino families. She has published articles on the schooling of immigrant chidren, language and literacy, and the preparation of teachers for minority students.

Claire Avis Andres  (United States)
Graduate Research Assistant

  • Early
  • Literacy instruction
  • Mexican American & Mexican immigrant children
  • Teacher-student interactions

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)