Date of Award


Document Type

Research Paper


This study asks: How do middle school students attending a Spanish and English dual immersion program develop their biliteracy skills differently based on the extent of their exposure to and practice of both languages in the home environment? Deborah Brandt argues that sponsors invest in literacy tools in order to give other people access to language resources, allowing communication to be fostered through the passing on of information, as done between different generations. This research project examines how literacy sponsorship outside of the classroom impacts an individual’s bilingual development overall. In a pilot version of this study with two participants, the student who engaged in bilingual literacy practices at home had more advanced literacy skills and developed them at a faster rate than the student who did not have this same exposure to the English and Spanish language. In the present study, ten families consisting of a guardian and a seventh grade student will be interviewed in order to discuss their views on dual immersion programs and bilingualism, their home and school literacy practices, the self-assessment of their own language abilities, as well as the guardian’s involvement with their student’s school and language exposure. In addition, performance data based on the analysis of writing samples and reading comprehension questions will be used to evaluate and compare student’s proficiency in both English and Spanish. The present study seeks to demonstrate how different learning contexts affect students' accessibility to language tools and biliteracy competency overall. Furthermore, it will bring attention to the need of making bilingual curriculum more resonant with the home experiences of children who have different resources. Establishing bilingual support groups would be one way to help share language resources with guardians who have limited opportunities to assist with the development of their student’s bilingualism.



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