The Relationship between Culture-Language and Academic Achievement was the partial title of my doctoral dissertation presented to the thesis committee at University of San Francisco in 1988. Two sites were selected for my research: Paris, France and Los Angels, California. The sample consisted of Mexican graduate students pursuing a doctoral degree. Paris was selected because of the high number of Mexican students, the number of scholarships offered by France at that time, and the distance between countries. During the course of the study we found that the majority of students were from Mexico City. Los Angeles was selected for its proximity to Mexico and because of its sizeable Spanish-speaking population.The instruments used were a Short Acculturation Scale developed by Dr. Gerardo Marin, the State-Trait Anxiety developed by Spielberger, the Semantic Differential Questionnaire and the Socio Demographic Data. The study took two years and was expensive. Despite the challenge, financial sacrifice, multiple corrections and a lot of patience from my wife Marina, I undertook the study with the intention to help Hispanic students search for a university abroad.
The dissertation was finally completed and unanimously approved on November 2, 1990. The results showed no significant difference between culture-language and Academic Achievement. The uplifting results help us to understand and motivate students about to begin a master or doctoral program, with a clear understanding that culture and language are not barriers for academic achievement. Hispanics are ethnically equipped with extraordinary traits to study and work anywhere around the world.
A high level of education is necessary to fully participate in any given field. Education is an essential part of human development to achieve inner consonance. It is a process, a constant movement for self-actualization.
Actual title of the dissertation: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ACCULTURATION AND ANXIETY AMONG MEXICAN GRADUATE STUDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES AND FRANCE.
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