Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Study: Connection to Heritage Improves School Achievement

A new study from the University of Missouri School of Education bolsters the belief that maintaining  native language fluency and a connection to one’s roots can help improve achievement in school.

The study,  “Culture Predicts Mexican-Americans’ College Self-Efficacy and College Performance,” concluded that Mexican-American students who maintain their ethnic roots and language have higher grade point averages than those raised in English-only environments. The paper was published in the journal Culture and College Outcomes.

“It’s a simple correlation, but living and learning within your cultural heritage is a benefit,” David Aguayo, one of the authors of the study told the MU News Bureau. “It could be speaking the language in school, eating certain foods, or interacting with other people who share your heritage. The stress level of being in a new culture will decrease if these students have a support system in school, while they are adjusting to other cultures.”