Relative to what standard? A hidden trap for bilingual students…

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Here is one challenge that complicates the life of bilingual teachers:

Students arrive from poor countries. If they are older, they may end up entering the work force pretty quickly to help out the family. Work is expected.

Suddenly, these kids are making more than their parents in some cases, more than any relative back in the home country. They may be able to buy that beater of a car and the new cell phone without family aid. Aside from the problem for family dynamics that this newfound prosperity poses, it’s hell on the higher education agenda. Why go to college?

These kids at 16 may be richer than anyone they have ever known. They are sometimes running their households by virtue of the fact that they speak more English than their parents. The idea that they should climb the English-language mountain to pay for college may not make much sense to them. As far as they can tell, they have made it already. They put shiny pictures of their cars on Facebook and take smiling selfies with their new phones.

Eduhonesty: Simply put, we have an agenda to sell the poor on educating their way out of poverty. One reason this agenda does not always work has to do with perceptions. I may know that my students technically are living below the poverty line; this does not mean that my students feel poor. Depending on where they have come from, they may even feel relatively wealthy for the first time in their lives.