Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Committee Chair(s)

Kathleen A. J. Mohr


Kathleen A. J. Mohr


Patricia S. Moyer-Packenham


Beth MacDonald


Ann Berghout Austin


Sylvia Read


Classroom instruction is influenced by and reflects teachers’ conceptions about their teaching. In elementary Dual Language Immersion (DLI) classrooms, teachers deliver mathematics and target-language instruction with the expectation that both can be developed concurrently. This qualitative study investigated K-3 Spanish DLI teachers’ conceptions about Mathematics-Focused Content-Based Language Teaching (MF-CBLT), which emphasizes the instructional parameters guiding teachers’ integration of content (mathematics), language (Spanish), and teaching (pedagogy).

The study examined 11 teachers’ statements and teaching samples to investigate their knowledge, beliefs, and preferences (i.e., conceptions) about MF-CBLT. A survey and individual teacher interviews provided access to what teachers had to say while video samples of classroom instruction showed what they did. The collected data were analyzed using open codes and the predetermined codes from MF-CBLT Priorities (preparation, comprehensible input, authentic tasks, practice and application, and integration).

Three major research findings summarize the teachers’ conceptions about MF-CBLT. The first two findings reported teachers’ common conceptions as primarily pedagogy-focused and secondarily mathematics-focused. The third major finding revealed more varied and inconsistent conceptions about integrating Spanish language development within mathematics instruction during MF-CBLT.

Possible explanations for teachers’ common and more varied conceptions about MF-CBLT are explored and discussed, including apparent inconsistencies about language integration. With only a few participants and possible bias in interpreting their conceptions, the study nonetheless offers insights that can inform current and future practice. The study contributes to the literature base on MF-CBLT in DLI and offers suggestions for mathematics professional development for DLI teachers.



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