Bridging the Gaps: Parental Involvement and Asian Non-native English Speakers’ Postsecondary Enrollment

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Ellen Yeh
Guofang Wan


While the number of the Asian non-native English speakers (NNESs) is increasing, their postsecondary education (PSE) enrollment rate has remained low in comparison to enrollment rates of Asian native English speakers (NESs). The achievement gap in postsecondary enrollment between NNESs and NESs has widened, due not only to content areas such as reading and language arts that require higher English proficiency but also sociocultural factors, such as parental involvement. The current study aims to investigate the extent to which parental involvement factors predict the likelihood of Asian NNESs PSE enrollment after controlling for socioeconomic and linguistic factors. This study, being an expansion of previous work, which explored parental involvement and NNESs' PSE in the U.S., uses the national representative data from the Education Longitudinal Study dataset in 2002 (ELS: 2002) and a binary multilevel logistic regression model analysis. The results indicate that parental involvement is related to a greater likelihood of attending PSE institutions. Among the various forms of parental involvement, parent-student involvement and parent-school involvement have the greatest impact on Asian NNESs' PSE enrollment. The results also showed that Asian NNESs' enrollment is higher if their parents participate in school volunteer work. Limitations, future studies, and implications for educators, parents and school policy makers will also be discussed.

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Author Biographies

Ellen Yeh, Columbia College Chicago

Ellen Yeh holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in second language education from Ohio University. She is an Assistant Professor in English and Creative Writing Department and serves as a Director of English as an Additional Language Program at Columbia College Chicago. Her research interests include media literacy education, Computer Assisted Language Learning, intercultural studies, and education of diverse populations. Her nationally recognized research has appeared in chapters and refereed journal articles. She has published a research article that is entitled “Teaching culture and language through the multiple intelligences film teaching model in the ESL/EFL classroom.”

Guofang Wan, University of West Florida

Guofang Wan joined UWF as a Professor and Chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership. Her research interests range from the education of diverse populations and media literacy education to English as a second language. She has authored and edited several books, including “The Education of Diverse Student Populations: A Global Perspective.” Among Wan’s recognitions are the Margaret B. Lindsey Award for Distinguished Research in Teacher Education from American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and the Fourth Annual Media Literacy Award from National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).