An investigation of current and former (reclassified) ELL Hmong students: Factors contributing to their successful acquisition of English

John C Yang, Marquette University

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to ascertain the factors that have an influence on Hmong students' acquisition of English. In order to do that, two groups of Hmong students were identified. One group consisted of Hmong students who were still enrolled in the ELL program while the other group consisted of Hmong students who had been exited from it. After contacting all the potential students, the researcher ended up with eight students and their parents who were willing to participate in the study. The data for this study were obtained through interviews and student academic records. Two separate interviews lasting anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes were conducted with the students and their parents at a time and place of their choosing. In addition to the two face-to-face interviews, some participants were also interviewed over the phone in order to get additional information. All the student interviews were conducted in English while all the parental interviews were conducted in Hmong. The parental interviews were subsequently translated into English by the researcher. Student academic records were obtained from the school district. After analyzing the data from the interviews and academic records, seven key factors were identified to have an influence on Hmong students' acquisition of English. These seven factors were (1) parents' education level; (2) parents' former occupation; (3) length of time in the U.S.; (4) cultural preference; (5) involvement with the Hmong community; (6) involvement with the community-at-large; and (7) involvement in extra-curricular school activities. Based on the results obtained for this study, four conclusions were drawn. One, the education level of Hmong students' parents has an influence on their ability to acquire English. Two, exited Hmong students exhibit a lot of cultural pride. Three, the only academic factor shown to have an influence on Hmong students' ability to acquire English was involvement in extra-curricular school activities. And four, multiple academic, sociocultural, and background factors combine together to influence the ability of Hmong students to acquire English.

Recommended Citation

John C Yang, "An investigation of current and former (reclassified) ELL Hmong students: Factors contributing to their successful acquisition of English" (January 1, 2004). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. Paper AAI3153490.
http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI3153490

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