Dual language bilingual education program implementation : teacher language ideologies and local language policy




Henderson, Kathryn Isabel

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In this dissertation, I investigated the top-down implementation process of a dual language bilingual education (DLBE) program in over 60 schools in a large urban school district in Texas to identify language ideologies and issues of language policy and policy implementation according to local participating educators. Drawing on a language policy framework and research in linguistic anthropology to define language ideologies, I employed a multi-method approach (survey (n=323 educators), interview (n=20 DLBE teachers) and observation (n=3 DLBE teachers)) to measure and better understand language ideology and its significance for local language policy. Analysis revealed ideological tension and multiplicity, within and across educators, within single statements and overtime. For example, during interviews most teachers expressed additive views towards bilingualism, but subtractive views towards non-standard variations of each language. Similarly, several teachers articulated additive ideologies towards bilingualism while articulating the relative greater importance of English language acquisition. These ideological tensions operated in distinct ways at the classroom level. One teacher strictly followed the DLBE policy in her classroom to support bilingual/biliteracy development, but she also discouraged certain students and families from participating in the program because of their non-standard language practices. This dissertation complicates traditional understandings of the role of language ideologies within language policy implementation. Much research in our field discusses bilingual programs and program implementation in dichotomous terms (i.e. subtractive/additive). In contrast, I demonstrate how the multiplicity and complexity of language ideologies must be considered when trying to discuss the ideological struggle involved in implementing pluralist bilingual programs within an English dominant society. I present four potential models to conceptualize and analyze ideological tension as well as a discussion on the relationship between language ideologies and local language policy. Implications for teacher education, DLBE policy and future research are considered.



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