All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Kelly Hill

Advisory Committee Members

Lois Christiansen

Jamie Harrison

Grace Jepkemboi

Jennifer Ponder

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


Utilizing case study and cross-case qualitative analyses, this study examined how Spanish-speaking early childhood emergent multilingual learners in kindergarten through second grades described language, language use, and language learning within the home and school. After 22 student participants were interviewed, focus students were selected to develop case-studies. To inform the case of the child, the researcher conducted observations as well as interviewed the student’s teacher and family to examine possible contributing spheres of influence to how the child constructed his/her understanding of language. Cross-case analysis was implemented after case study analysis was conducted. Four themes were evident among data: students’ adaptability and awareness of linguistic terrains, students’ description of language in maintaining heritage and family relationships, the understanding of English as the dominant language, and pride in multilingualism. Implications of this research included the necessity for the Department of Education to adopt statements supporting dynamic bilingualism and further pre-service and in-service teacher training to utilize translanguaging pedagogy within the classroom.

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