Bilingual Education, Dual-Language Programs, ESOL, Second-Language Acquisition, Primary Reading


The purpose of this research was to determine whether participation in a dual-language program by English-language learners (ELLs) contributed to the literacy development of this student population. This qualitative research spanned 5 months and was conducted within an elementary school located in central Florida. It is important to note that the researcher was also a teacher within the dual-language program under study, hence possessed an inside perspective of the program and the progression of several participating students. The study was guided by the following research questions: 1. What factors contribute to the improved literacy development for ELLs through participation in a two-way, dual-language program? 2. What factors contribute to the failure to improve the literacy development for ELLs participating in two-way, dual-language programs? As an ethnographic study, the qualitative methods of observation, interviewing, and examination of artifacts (i.e., work samples) were employed. ELLs attending the 1st through the 5th grades were observed during their Literacy Block and interviewed regarding their feelings about learning two languages. Parents and teachers were also interviewed to determine their beliefs surrounding the contribution of the dual-language program to the literacy development of the participating ELLS. Work samples, including reading scores and journal samples, were also examined. The four processes of the W. P. Thomas and V. P. Collier (1997) prism model--sociocultural processes, linguistic processes, academic development, and cognitive development--served as the theoretical framework for the data analysis. The prism model facilitated elaboration of how all processes involved in the development of the ELLs' literacy skills are related and intertwined. After triangulation of the data from the observations, interviews and work samples, ten factors affecting second-language acquisition for ELLs participating in a dual-language program were discovered in this study. Nine appeared to contribute to successful literacy development and one factor appeared to contribute to failure in the acquisition of second-language literacy skills. Based upon the findings, it appears that participation in a dual-language program indeed contributes to literacy development in ELLs. Contributions to the field and recommendations for related future research are presented.


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Graduation Date





Lue, Martha


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Studies

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction








Release Date

May 2007

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)