Date of Award:

5-2022

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Education

Committee Chair(s)

Parker Fawson

Committee

Parker Fawson

Committee

Kathleen A. J. Mohr

Committee

Alyson Lavigne

Committee

Stefinee Pinnegar

Committee

Sarah Braden

Abstract

Emergent bilingual (EB) students are a growing population in the U.S. school system currently comprising over 10% of the total population. U.S. school districts have educated EB students using a myriad of practices, including dual language immersion (DLI). Many studies have looked at the academic achievement of native-Spanish speaking EB students, yet there is a dearth of research on DLI in medium-sized school districts in rural settings. This study focused on native-Spanish speaking EB students in a DLI program in a rural Utah district. Specifically, the study compared student academic achievement in English acquisition, English language arts, mathematics, and grade point average of EB students enrolled in DLI to EB students not enrolled in a DLI program.

Student achievement data for EB students was collected from 2014-2020 (N = 1,046). Using various regression methods such as ordinal logistic regression, multiple regression, and multilevel modeling (MLM), the study sought the predictive power of DLI after controlling for gender, free and reduced lunch status, and special education enrollment. Results found that on average DLI students performed as well as or better than their non-DLI peers. MLM analyses indicated that EB students enrolled in DLI had superior growth trajectories to their non-DLI peers over time.

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