Date of Award

Spring 8-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lilia D. Monzo

Second Advisor

Jorge F. Rodriguez

Third Advisor

Anaida Colon-Muniz


Through a critical race and LatCrit framework, this research examined the language ideologies of young Latine children enrolled in Spanish dual-language programs. Specifically, I examined how and why the children chose to speak English and Spanish at home and school. A qualitative approach was used to understand the participants in their natural environment. The participants were five third-grade students (two males and three females), and their parents, five females and one male, and a the student’s third-grade teacher. The data collected included participant observations at home and at school as well as both formal interviews and informal conversations with students, their parents, and their teacher. The findings demonstrate that young Latine children enrolled in Spanish dual-language programs like to use English and Spanish. The students generally chose to use Spanish or English depending on the context, assessing the language needs of the other speakers and the social expectation of particular language use to within the context. However, their general perception was that English was to be used unless the speaker did not speak English or during the Spanish language component of their formal dual-language instructional day. When interacting with family members who do not speak English, Spanish is used to help communicate.

Nonetheless, primary language maintenance was understood by all participants as essential to help build cultural identity and strengthen cultural ties. The students, as well as the parents, held a strong value for the dual-language program, for developing bilingualism, and the equal value of Spanish and English. These findings suggest that dual-language programs help foster bilingualism as an asset that contributes to maintaining primary language and academic success.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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