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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Robert Oprandy

First Committee Member

Marilyn Draheim

Second Committee Member

Fred Muskal

Third Committee Member

Jose Cintron


The following case study provides answers to two questions, "How do English Learners and Spanish Learners negotiate meaning in an alternative dual language environment?" (Who are they? What do they do and how do they interact together?) and "How do English Learners and Spanish Learners perceive the dual language program and working together with peers?" (How do they perceive their peer interaction and the challenges, frustrations, and rewards they may have encountered?) This study focuses on the language interaction of three dyads of English Learners and Spanish Learners from a rural middle school in Northern California who met once a week to participate in an alternative dual language program. Methodically triangulating data from student journals, interviews, and taped interactions and analysis, three stages emerged during the alternative dual language program: (1) Language Apprehension, (2) Language Initiation, and (3) Language Acquisition. Within these stages, a number of corresponding themes unfolded from the analysis of journal entries, interviews, taped interactions, and field notes. These themes include Confidence, Language Practice, Frustrations and Misunderstandings, Strategies, and Perceived Language Acquisition. The stages and themes from triangulated data reveal examples of how three different dyads of students negotiate meaning in similar yet different respects depending on their personality, willingness to learn, confidence level, and the strategies they use to move language forward. The study also reveals how the alternative dual language program being studied provided newcomers a chance to associate with mainstream students on a school campus and to engage in authentic language communication and/or language practice; the importance of assigning students to intact pairs (dyads) allowing students to "affectively" build trust, increase confidence, and perceive language acquisition through social cognition; how an alternative dual language program can be implemented in middle or high school campuses that have a plethora of second language learners; and, how such language interaction can foster cross-cultural and multicultural education.




9780542379758 , 0542379759

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