ELL Assessment for Linguistic Differences vs. Learning Disabilities
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Home/School Perceptions

As explained earlier, personalismo is important and Puerto Ricans value it as a way of communicating in a harmonious manner. This has implications for teachers of Puerto Rican students if the teacher truly desires to make the parent a “partner” in the education of the student. The Puerto Rican parent is more likely to be a “partner” if the professional (teacher, therapist, etc.) uses a respectful, personal approach and includes the parent in a participatory manner.

Puerto Rican Culture American Majority Culture
Parents will not generally come to school to advocate for their children. This does not mean there is lack of concern or caring. Parents are expected to come to school for a variety of reasons including parent’s night, volunteer activities and school committee meetings.
Parents will not generally bring an advocate or question a teacher or administrator’s decisions. They may bring an interpreter to translate. It is not uncommon to bring professional advocates to special education evaluation meetings and to question the school administrators’ decisions.
When speaking in English or through an interpreter, parents will give elaborate background information before getting to the expected response. Parent-teacher dialogue is generally very direct and conscious of time restraints.
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