The linguistic ecology of a bilingual first-grade: The child's perspective.
AuthorSmith, Howard Leslie.
KeywordsEducation, Bilingual -- Southwest, New.
Education, Primary -- Southwest, New.
Classroom environment -- Southwest, New.
Committee ChairMcCarty, Teresa
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation presents the linguistic ecology of a Spanish-English, bilingual first grade classroom. The term linguistic ecology refers to the communicative behaviors of a group, as well as the physical and social contexts in which their communication occurs. In addition, a linguistic ecology includes the reciprocal influences of persons and environment on each other. Two questions guided this study: (1) How do the children interpret the roles of English and Spanish in their classroom environment? and (2) What resources, human and material, are made available to support the development of both languages in this bilingual classroom? Three over-arching categories were used to describe and analyze the linguistic ecology as viewed by the children: (1) the materials available in the school to support Spanish development; (2) the staffing for bilingual instruction; and (3) the dynamics of language use within the school, especially within one first-grade classroom. The results of this inquiry study strongly suggest that children of bilingual classrooms discern that (1) more time is devoted to English instruction; (2) more communication occurs in English; (3) few teachers have high levels of Spanish proficiency; (4) the personnel of bilingual schools utilize more English than Spanish in the school environment; and (5) Spanish language resource materials are fewer in number and often less appealing than their English-language counterparts. In effect, this case study documents and interprets the social and educational processes through which bilingual children in one U.S. school come to appreciate the prestige and power of English versus Spanish.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading, and Culture