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ERIC Number: ED530894
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 145
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-6960-5
Immigrant Students in the Middle: A Case Study of How a Middle School Principal Supports Immigrant Students and Immigrant Community through Bilingualism
Castillo, Desiree Lucette
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Arizona State University
This study is about how one middle school principal in Arizona uses Spanish throughout her day with students and their immigrant parents. Ordinarily, the use of Spanish to communicate with Spanish speaking students and their parents might not seem noteworthy, yet, in the State of Arizona several policies and laws have been enacted in recent years that make the use of any language other than English a political act. However, in no place in the new policy does it specifically say that the principal or teachers cannot use a language other than English to communicate for non-instructional purposes with English learners students and their parents. Actually, being bilingual and biliterate are considered to be assets in schools located within densely populated immigrant communities, where a majority of the communicative needs of parents and children are conducted in language of the immigrant community. This is a self-study that relied on qualitative interpretative methodology of how a principal of a middle school used a semi-structured interview to gather parents' views of Spanish use in the school where more than half of the students are English learners, and where a majority of the students' parents are either monolingual Spanish-speakers or Spanish-English bilinguals who prefer Spanish to interact about school-related topics. Interactions with parents have been collected over a three month period using interviews to examine, evaluate and describe the purpose of using Spanish with Spanish-speaking students and parents who are also English learners; how Spanish-speaking parents view the principal's use of Spanish with Spanish-speaking students; and how Spanish-speaking parents view the principal's use of Spanish with them. The responses enable one to make assertions about the functions and purposes of Spanish, as well as the usefulness of Spanish in schools that are attended by Spanish-speaking students and located with Spanish-speaking communities. The results indicated that parents value Spanish because it gave them access to school. And, the researcher gained a deeper understanding of the political and communicative value of Spanish in the school she manages as a principal. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona