We wanted to explore how early factors such as home and classroom environments and larger cultural myths surrounding “Asian academic achievement” may be affecting children’s academic results.
ESL students scored significantly higher than native English speakers in all academic areas except English and social studies in Grade 12.
Mandarin speakers’ academic achievement was also significantly higher than that of Cantonese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese and other language groups.
While there were high achievers among this diverse group of Asians, many Asian students (even among the Chinese subgroups) also reported struggling academically and socio-emotionally in school.
As researchers, we did not expect that these students’ achievement would differ at the end of their public school careers.