A Journal of Teaching English Language and Literature

ISSN Print : 2229-6557, Online: 2394-9244

The Relationship Between Parental Involvement and Students’ AESL at Secondary Schools

Rajni Singh and Sanjiv Kumar Choudhary

“Home is the place where children spend most of their time while growing up, parents being their primary ‘teacher’” (Dorothy, 1978).

The above statement highlights the role of parents in whether a child’s learning is formal or informal. Parental involvement is a prominent variable affecting children’s learning outcomes at all stages of learning, be it the child’s early education (Hara and Burke, 1998Hill and Craft, 2003)  or youth academic success (Fan and Chen, 2001; Jeynes, 2003/2007). Children and youth, both are perceived to be encouraged and motivated to perform better when their parents are involved in their homework or assignments given in their school. They start valuing their schooling and learning (Chowa et al, 2013). All these findings indicate the important role played by parental involvement in the educational achievements of their children. Parental factor is also one of the scales of “socio-educational model”. This reflects the important role of parents in their children’s performance. Involvement provides emotional support which may develop high motivation among learners.

In one of the studies carried out by Wilder (2014), the findings indicated that there was a positive relationship between parental involvement and academic achievement, regardless of the definition of parental involvement or measure of achievement. In the same study, Wilder noticed that the impact of parental involvement on the student’s academic achievement was weakest if parental involvement was defined as homework assistance. The literature survey revealed that in developing countries, the overall impact of parental involvement on academic performance in the formative years is negligible (Chowa et al, 2013). Hence, in accordance with these findings, the present study will assess the relationship between parental involvement and students achievement in learning English as a Second Language (AESL) at the secondary school level in the Indian context.

Research Question

Can students’ AESL at secondary school level be predicted by looking at the parental involvement?

Research Methodology

In this study, we adopted an Ex-Post-Facto design (Nworgu, 2006). We considered this design suitable because parental involvement had already taken place and the AESL variable was not manipulative as it had already occurred. This research design is used when it is not possible to manipulate the characteristics of human participants. It is an alternative for experimental research (Simon and Goes, 2013) and also without interference from the researcher. The study targeted the students of class 10 of residential and non-residential secondary schools affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in Jhunjhunu district, Rajasthan (India). Out of the thirteen cities comprising forty-six CBSE affiliated schools in Jhunjhunu district, one city was chosen by simple random method and all nine schools of that city were included in the sample. The data comprised a sample size of 823 students.

A survey was conducted with the help of a questionnaire to collect information about parental involvement, using Gardner’s (1985) Attitude/Motivation Test battery (AMTB). The questionnaire had a parental involvement scale comprising three indicators on a five-point Likert scale as: 1-strongly disagree, 2-disagree, 3-neutral, 4-agree, 5-strongly agree. Here, parental involvement was defined as English homework assistance and supervision. The students’ achievement in learning ESL (AESL) was collected from the respective schools in the form of grades awarded by CBSE.

Findings and Discussions

The data was analysed in two stages. In the first stage we looked at the frequency distribution (table 1), and in the second stage studied the formulation of linear regression (table 2) of the dependent variable—students’ parental involvement  and AESL.

Hypothesis

Our hypothesis was that parental involvement has no impact on students’ AESL at a secondary school level.

 

Table 1

Demographic data of respondents

Factors

Characteristics

Frequency

Percent

Min

Max

Mean

Std. Dev.

PI

Low (2-6)

115

14.00

2

10

8.2126

1.50659

 

Middle (7-8)

266

32.30

 

 

 

 

 

High (9-10)

442

53.70

 

 

 

 

AESL

Low (45)

13

1.60

35

95

75.8384

1.15006E1

 

Average (55)

71

8.60

 

 

 

 

 

High (65-75)

399

48.50

 

 

 

 

 

Very High (85-95)

340

41.30

 

 

 

 

 

 

The demographic data (table 1) of respondents indicated that the maximum number of students had high parental involvement with respect to assistance with their school work, followed by middle and low level of parental involvement. Further, the respondents’ AESL also reflected that more than 50 per cent of the respondents were in the categories of high and very high AESL.

Table 2.

Relationship between Parental Involvement and AESL (Results of linear regression)

Model

Unstandardized Coefficients

Standardized coefficient

t

Sig.

B

Std. Error

Beta

1

(Constant)

61.611

2.680

 

22.988

0.000

Parental Involvement

1.132

0.211

0.184

5.371

0.000

R2=0.034

F= 28.849*

 

Model 1: Predictors: (constant), Parental Involvement

Dependent variable: AESL. *p<0.001

A simple linear regression was performed to evaluate how the independent variable (parental involvement) contributed to the regression equation when the variance contribution (R2) of the factor in the regression model had been accounted for. The output revealed a correlation between the independent and dependent factors, r = 0.184. The model summary highlighted (R2 = 0.034, F (1,821) =10.89, p <0.001), indicated a statistical predictive capability of parental involvement on the respondents’ AESL. The F test was significant, which meant that the model fit the data and established that there was a relationship between the independent and dependent factors. The variance shared by parental involvement was only 3 per cent on AESL. Parental involvement with a coefficient value of B=0.211, *p<0.001, was statistically significant to influence the respondents’ AESL. This demonstrated that there was a positive relationship between the respondents’ parental involvement and AESL, and for every unit increase in parental involvement, AESL increased by 0.211 points. The results of simple regression revealed that parental involvement possessed a predictive capability. Although the value of R2 was very low, i.e. only 3 per cent, it was statistically significant.

Many researchers (Erlendsdottir, 2010; Desforges and Abouchaar, 2003) have found a significant impact of parental involvement on academic achievement. According to Xu, Kushner, Mudrey-Camino, and Steiner (2010), there is positive prediction between parental involvement and a child’s reading achievement.  In the present study, the relationship was found to be significant, although not very strong. There may be many possible reasons for this. There are many studies which indicate that parental involvement in the form of expectations for academic achievement (Wilder, 2014) and authoritative parenting (high acceptance, supervision, and psychological autonomy granting) (Steinberg et al, 1992) is strongest in the form of home assistance. Parental involvement also differs based on the context (at home versus in school) (Giallo et al, 2010; Jeynes, 2003). There is a sociological significance of parental involvement in the education of their children (Rafiq et al, 2013). Parental involvement in students’ learning, particularly in English, lead to an overall improvement in English language skills, development as well as confidence among students. The more students interacted and practiced with their parents, and remained under their supervision, the better they performed.

However the socio-economic status of the parents (parental education, occupation or income) may affect the level of parental involvement (Vellymalay, 2012; Smith, 2006). English proficiency and cultural differences are some of the other issues which prevent parents from getting actively involved in their child’s education (Scarcella, 1990; Olsen, 1988) It can be said that parents being involved gives confidence to the children. This may help children in developing their own goals, objectives and positive attitude towards learning. A further study on possible strategy adopted by parents for involvement and the level of their exposure and parental engagements with school meetings and activities may help to comprehend the entire situation. There is also a need to explore the various kinds of parental involvement and its measurement at different educational stages. Parental involvement and guidance needs to follow different strategies like providing assistance in their homework, interacting with them, providing encouragement and support, attending regular school meetings, etc. according to the emotional needs and age of the children.

Conclusion

The present study has found positive impact of parental involvement in the form of English homework assistance and supervision on students’ AESL at secondary school level in Indian context. However, there is a need to explore further what type of parental involvement has more impact or possess stronger relationship with achievement in particular context. There are many other factors like parental education, exposure, strategy of involvement, etc., which make parental involvement contingent on it and its impact on learning achievement. These need to be further explored. This in turn would enhance the learning outcomes.

References

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Dorothy, R. (1978). The three R’s plus: Teaching families and schools for student achievement. Washington DC: The Home and School Institute.

Erlendsdottir, G. (2010). Effects of parental involvement in education: A case study in Namibia (Unpublished master's thesis).  School of Education, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland.  Retrieved from  http://skemman.is/stream/get/1946/6925/18121/1/MEd_thesis-Gu%C3%B0laug.pdf

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Gardner, R. C. (1985). The attitude/motivation test battery: Technical report. London, ON: University of Western Ontario.

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Xu, M., Benson, S. N. K., Mudrey-Camino, R. & Steiner, R. P. (2010). The relationship between parental involvement, self-regulated learning, and reading achievement of fifth graders: A path analysis using the ECLS-K database. Social Psychology of Education13(2), 237-269.

 

Rajni Singh is a research scholar in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, BITS, Pilani, Rajasthan (India). She is working in the area of English Language Teaching.

pdpanwar@gmail.com

 

Sanjiv Kumar Choudhary has done a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching of English (PGDTE), M.Phil. and Ph.D. in English with specialization in Linguistics and Phonetics from EFLU. Apart from teaching at under graduate and post graduate levels, he has been involved with Teacher Training programmes. He has been associated with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, BITS, Pilani for more than 12 years. 

chskumar@pilani.bits-pilani.ac.in