Graduation Year

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Secondary Education

Major Professor

Deoksoon Kim

Co-Major Professor

Valerie J. Janesick

Keywords

academic achievement, culturally and linguistically diverse, empowerment, extreme member check, Latino, online qualitative research methods

Abstract

The purpose of this multicase study was to describe and explain the perceptions of three Spanish-English culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) high achievers on their biliteracy journeys to become educators in the United States (U.S.), by answering: What elements constitute the perspectives of three L1-Spanish/L2-English CLD high achievers on the relevance of their biliteracy experience in order to become educators in the U.S.?; What factors do these three L1-Spanish/L2-English CLD high achievers perceive as key to describe their biliteracy experience?; What relevance, if any, do these three L1-Spanish/L2-English CLD high achievers perceive their biliteracy experience had for them to become educators in the U.S.?; From the perspectives of these three L1-Spanish/L2-English CLD high-achiever educators, what impact, if any, did digital technologies have on their biliteracy experience? With a critical-pedagogy approach to multicase-study (Stake, 2006) inquiry, I used online methods to collect data on three high-achieving (GPA > 3.01) L1-Spanish graduates initially identified as limited-English-proficient by the American school system. For data collection, I used a participant-selection questionnaire, individual and group semi-structured interviews via Skype, e-journals for biliteracy autobiographies, artifact e-portfolios, my reflective e-journal, and one face-to-face unstructured interview with one participant only. Concurrently, I engaged in on-going data analysis to build meaning inductively and guide further data collection, analysis, and interpretation, until saturation, in an application of the dialectical method into research (Ollman, 2008). I included the email communications with the participants and their member checks. Two external auditors reviewed all data-collection and analytic procedures. I analyzed each case individually followed by the cross-case analysis. The findings indicated the importance of family and L1-community support, host-culture insiders as mentors, access to information, empowerment by means of conscientization, and the participants' advocacy of others by becoming educators. In this way, the study identified how the participants escaped the statistics of doom, which helps understand how to better serve growing L2-English student populations. The study closed with a discussion from the viewpoint of reviewed literature and critical pedagogy, my interpretation of the findings, and suggestions for future praxis in education and research.