Date of Award:

2017

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Education

Advisor/Chair:

Steven Camicia

Co-Advisor/Chair:

María Luisa Spicer-Escalante

Third Advisor:

Ryan Knowles

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to understand how young children bridge belonging and language in a dual language immersion (DLI) setting. I developed a 10-week ethnographic study in a Spanish-English third-grade class in the Northeast of the U.S. where data was collected in the form of field notes, interviews, and artifacts. Here I explored the way language instruction and student participation influenced the development of the teacher and students’ multiple identities. The findings of this study suggest that emergent bilinguals’ identity development derives from the process built through multiple dialogic classroom instruction and practices. The products of this process emphasize the sense of belonging and language practices as main components of students’ hybrid and fluid identities. This research contributes to the field of identity development and DLI studies in terms of knowledge, policy, and practices. In particular, the findings of this study: (a) increase our knowledge of students’ multiple identities development in DLI settings; (b) impact policy implementation in elementary schools; and (c) reveal classroom strategies and successful instructions in elementary education.

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