This paper will discuss the cultural differences existing regarding the involvement of family in Maria’s case and evaluate how cultural influences affect her development.
Cultural influences are evident in how students understand verbal messages, body gestures, physical touch and eye contact because different cultures have different expectations of these modes of communication. For example, Maria is a Mexican student in the US and English is not her first language. Further, apart from learning it in the US, she also needs to have enough command over it to use it to learn academic content in school. According to the U.S. Department of Education (2007), the US is known for its historical emphasis on education, which also explains why majority of American parents have always been concerned and involved in their children’s academic affairs. Further, the present-day American education system does not discriminate against gender, as is traditionally seen among some minority cultures that prioritize the education of the boy child. On the contrary, Maria’s parents have not shown interest in what goes on in her school life apart from the fact that they enrolled her in school. For instance, they have not been returning her teacher’s calls and have also failed to respond to the notes that have been sent to them for a whole week.
This acts as a warning sign to the teacher and generates the initial thoughts that the parents are not supportive of their child’s academic endeavor. From the case study, Maria is also shown to be the typical example of English language learners. This is because although she has the conversational skills to chat with friends during break, she lacks the central academic language and vocabulary to succeed in school.
A key cultural influence on Maria’s education is what is typically known of Latin American cultures in which children show