Cultural, linguistic, and educational adjustments of adult ESL Hispanic women in New York

Lucia Buttaro, Fordham University


The purpose of the study was to determine how cultural, educational, and linguistic factors influence the academic performance of adult ESL women in New York. The target population for this study were eight adult ESL Hispanic women attending an ESL program in New York City who came to this country between 10 and 20 years ago. The sample population, chosen by random selection from an ESL class with a total number of 25 students, consisted of four levels according to the New York State (1993) Placement Test. All participants who participated in the investigation were Hispanic with Spanish as their first language. The study attempted to observe, interview, and analyze participants' written works, and describe cultural, linguistic, and educational factors that may have contributed to the students' academic success using a case study approach. Some of the conclusions were: (1) Respondents indicated that the culture and traditions of their native country had a profound impact upon their study habits. Essays, interviews, and questionnaires revealed that participants spent time with other Hispanics, children, and family members doing their homework and reading English-language literature with other personal challenges. (2) Respondents indicated that being with “Americans” helped them to understand the culture and the language; reading about things in which they were interested helped them learn better. Field trips to museums, taking the trains, and reading maps gave them the courage to go to the same places again with their spouses and/or children.

Subject Area

Adult education|Continuing education|Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Womens studies|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Buttaro, Lucia, "Cultural, linguistic, and educational adjustments of adult ESL Hispanic women in New York" (1999). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9938897.