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«A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education in the Graduate Division of ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

Conflicting Ideologies about Using and Learning Spanish across the School Years: From

Two-Way Immersion to World Language Pedagogy

By

Sharon Merritt

A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of

the requirements for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

in

Education

in the

Graduate Division

of the

University of California, Berkeley

Committee in charge:

Professor Sarah Warshauer Freedman, Education, Chair

Assistant Professor Laura Sterponi, Education Professor George Lakoff, Linguistics Fall 2011

Conflicting Ideologies about Using and Learning Spanish across the School Years:

From Two-Way Immersion to World Language Pedagogy © 2011 by Sharon Merritt Abstract Conflicting Ideologies about Using and Learning Spanish across the School Years: From Two-Way Immersion to World Language Pedagogy by Sharon Merritt Doctor of Philosophy in Education University of California, Berkeley Sarah Warshauer Freedman, Chair As Two-Way Language (TWI or dual language) Immersion programs, located most often in elementary school settings, have continued to increase across the nation over the last three decades, educators and researchers have raised questions regarding what will happen to students’ bilingual language development as they move from these programs to secondary school classrooms (Garcia, 1995; Montone & Loeb, 2000). Few secondary TWI programs exist today, and to continue their language development in school, most former TWI students must enter middle and high school World Language courses. While the focus of study in World Language classes is the nature and learning of a particular language, the focus in TWI programs is on the use of the target language (most often Spanish, in the U.S.) as medium of instruction in elementary content areas and literacy activities. These differences in focus reflect differences in ideologies regarding language learning and use in these contexts, differences which sometimes come into conflict between teachers, administrators and students as students move from TWI programs into World Language classrooms. Students who may have been cast as competent learners and users of language in the TWI context may be recast as having significant linguistic deficits when they enter the World Language classrooms where encapsulated forms of school learning take precedence (Engestrom, 1991). These differing ideologies inform both de jure and de facto language policy as school districts make efforts to resolve the conflicts that arise from them. Such language policy decisions have an impact on both English-dominant and minority-language dominant students with serious repercussions for both groups.

Using qualitative interviews, participant observations, and a student focus group, this study provides an account of the trajectory of language learning and use experienced by Spanish Immersion students over the course of their years in school as they move from an elementary TWI program to secondary World Language classes. It considers the differences and conflicts in ideologies of language learning and use of teachers and administrators in both Spanish Immersion and World Language programs, and how they affect students. It further recounts the practices of language learning and use that characterize both educational contexts. The data capture an historical conflict in a school district that houses a Spanish Immersion elementary program which brought about a district-wide program review of the middle school segment of the Spanish Immersion program, which was tasked with preparing students for the high school World Language program. Using Cultural Historical Activity Theory as an analytical lens, the study examines the sources of failure of the expansive learning (Engestrom, 1987) necessary to enact real program reform and language policy change.

While Spanish Immersion teachers and administrators affirmed the abilities of their students to learn and use Spanish for a variety of academic and social purposes, World Language teachers took a negative view of former Spanish Immersion students in their classes, focusing on specific linguistic features to recast those students as having significant deficits that disqualified them from enrolling in higher level Spanish language classes as they entered high school. Despite their resounding success on the 2009 Spanish Language Advanced Placement exam, former Spanish Immersion students in high school World Language classes expressed significant dissatisfaction with their experiences of language learning and use in secondary school as they encountered greater emphasis on encapsulated forms of school learning rather than a wide range of language uses. The difference in ideologies about language learning and use contributed to the historical conflict in the school district over this program, and led to a program review to reform the middle school Spanish Immersion program. The two ideologies of language learning and use continued to prevail during and after the program review, preventing the expansive learning necessary to resolve the conflict. The program reform effort has led to very little real change in the Spanish Immersion middle school program.

As the number of TWI programs continues to grow across the country, this dissertation contributes a study of students’ experiences of language learning and use across the years of schooling, and of the language policy problems encountered by a school district as it attempts to provide the best long-term language education experience it can to its students

–  –  –





Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………………v Chapter 1: Introduction and Literature Review………………………………………1 Introduction………………………………………………………………………..1 Review of Literature………………………………………………………………5 The Current Study and Research Questions……………………………………..20 Chapter 2: Models of Language Learning and Use Study Methods……………… 22 Summary…………………………………………………………………………22 Background: The Middle School Crisis…………………………………………22 Rationale and Study Design……………………………………………………...23 The Settings……………………………………………………………………...27 Participants…………………………………………………………………….....33 Data Collected…………………………………………………………………....38 Data Analysis…………………………………………………………………….45 Researcher Role………………………………………………………………….48 Chapter 3: Playing Soccer in Spanish: Language Learning and Use in Midville’s 5th Grade Spanish Immersion Class………………………………………………………50 Introduction………………………………………………………………………50 Administrator and Teacher Conceptions of Language Learning and Use: Beliefs and Ideologies……………………………………………………………………51 Ms. Gomez’s Classroom, Winter/Spring 2009: Characteristics of Language Learning and Use………………………………………………………………...62 Language Competency in the Fifth Grade Classroom: Situated Mastery and Wide-Range of Language Use Domains………………………………………....73 Conclusion: How Language Ideologies Work in Classrooms…………………..83 Chapter 4: “There’s no reading of books”: Language Learning and Use in Midville’s Spanish Language AP Class……………………………………………….84 Introduction………………………………………………………………………84 Teacher Conceptions of Language Learning and Use: Beliefs and Ideologies…84 Mr. Mann’s Classroom, Spring 2009: Characteristics of Language Learning and Use……………………………………………………………………………….99 Dissatisfied Students: What Former Spanish Immersion Students Believed about Their Language Learning and Development…………………………………...109 Domains of Language Learning and Use in Spanish 4AP: Dichotomized View of Language Use, Autonomous View of Literacy…………………………………118 Why Spanish Immersion Students Were Prepared for High Achievement on AP Exam……………………………………………………………………………125 Conclusion: Student Performance Contradicted Teacher Attitudes…………...127 Chapter 5: “A Bridge to Somewhere”: Revision of a Middle School Spanish Immersion Program…………………………………………………………………..129 Introduction: “We will frame the debate”……………………………………..129 Using CHAT to Examine Language Ideologies and Metaphor in Program Review………………………………………………………………………….130 Developing 6th and 7th Grade Spanish Immersion Curriculum: “It's a paradigm shift”…………………………………………………………………………….165 ii The Precarious Bridge: How Expansive Learning and Reform Could Fail……174 Chapter 6: Conclusion………………………………………………………………..176 Discussion of Key Issues……………………………………………………….177 Implications and Future Directions for Research and Practice…………………182 Limitations of the Study………………………………………………………...188 “Not what you want to know for Spanish”: Language Learning and Use in the Lives of TWI Students………………………………………………………….189 Epilogue: What Might the Future of the SI Middle School Program Be?..........189 References……………………………………………………………………………...191 Appendix A: Map of Ms. Gomez’s 5th grade classroom……………………………196 Appendix B: Midville High School National Test Scores and National Merit Program Participants, 2010-11……………………………………………………….197 Appendix C: Map of Mr. Mann’s Spanish Language AP classroom……………...198 Appendix D: Room Map, Spanish Immersion Program Review Group, 11/6/08…199 Appendix E: Protocol for Interview of Teachers and Administrators in Study…..200 Appendix F: Protocol for Choosing Talleres to Observe at El Molino, Winter 2009……………………………………………………………………………………..204 Appendix G: Protocol for Spanish 4 AP Exam Focus Group………………………205 Appendix H: “Leer es Pensar”……………………………………………………….207 Appendix I: Betsy’s List of Books by Genre………………………………………..208 Appendix J: Marta’s List of Books by Genre………………………………………209 Appendix K: Michael’s List of Books by Genre……………………………………210 Appendix L: AP Spanish Language Free Response Questions, 2007-2011, Regular and Form B (in Spanish)……………………………………………………………..211 Appendix M: AP Spanish Language Free Response Questions, 2007-2011, Regular and Form B (in English)………………………………………………………………215 Appendix N: AP Spanish Language Free Response Questions, 2007-2011, by Language Domains and Genres………………………………………………………218 Appendix O: Practice Exercises for AP Exam, Mr. Mann’s class, by domains/genres………………………………………………………………………...220 Appendix P: Multiple Activity Systems of Spanish Immersion Middle School Program Review

Appendix Q: Overlapping Communities in Activity System of Program Review...223

iii List of Tables and Figures

Table 2.1: Fifth Grade Focal Students………………………………………………….

34 Table 2.2: Overview of Data Collected from Spanish Immersion 5th Grade Classes, Winter-Spring 2009……………………………………………………………………...38 Table 2.3: Overview of Data Collected from Midville High School Spanish Language Advanced Placement Course and Exam, Spring 2009…………………………………...41 Table 2.4: Overview of Data Collected from Midville Spanish Immersion Middle School Program Review, Fall 2008-Spring 2009………………………………………………..44 Table 4.1: 2007-2010 Spanish Language AP Exam Pass Rates (3, 4, 5), Spanish Immersion (SI), Non-Spanish Immersion and Total……………………………………125 Table 4.2: 2007-2010 Spanish Language AP Exam Pass Rates (4, 5), Spanish Immersion (SI), Non-Spanish Immersion and Total………………………………………………..126 Table 5.1: Location-Event Structure in Middle School Bridge Metaphor……………...159 Figure 1.1: Second Generation CHAT…………………………………………………..15 Figure 1.2: Third Generation CHAT……………………………………………………16 Figure 3.1: Daily and Weekly Schedule in Ms.

Gomez’s Class………………………...63 Figure 3.2: Betsy’s First 4-3-2-1 Activity for 20,000 leguas de viaje submarino………68 Figure 5.1: CHAT Triangle for Activity of Program Review………………………….132

iv Acknowledgments

So many individuals and groups have contributed to this dissertation in ways both material and spiritual. First, I owe a debt of gratitude to all the teachers and administrators who have participated in this study. They granted me unfettered access to classrooms, students, meetings and themselves. They are all highly professional individuals who love students and their work, and I appreciate the time they graciously afforded me in classrooms and outside of them. I hope that I have portrayed their work and concerns in ways that will help many school districts with TWI programs grapple with the decisions they must make to best serve the language learning and use of their students.



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