Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wickens, Corrine M.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Curriculum and Instruction (CI)


This case study examines oral language development during structured guided reading instruction in English and Spanish in a second grade dual language classroom. The participants in this study included four focal second grade students identified as balanced emergent bilinguals. The four case studies offer insights into the development of five oral language components: phonological skills, morpho-syntactic skills, vocabulary, syntax and pragmatics in English and Spanish that students undergo as they develop biliteracy. The key findings showed code-switching as the main linguistic behavior students used to build on language skills as well as the need for modeling and offering structured opportunities for vocabulary practice and the development of sentence structures. Vocabulary study, asking questions, making connections and establishing dialogue with the teacher to clarify meaning were the main reading strategies that effectively supported oral language biliteracy development. A cross -case analysis and a qualitative description of speech events that led to oral language development provide vignettes of the biliteracy paths students followed. Children interacted with the teacher in the zone of proximal development, as defined by Vygotsky (1995), and acquired cognitive processes for language development in order to articulate oral language in English and Spanish. Language transfer, code-switching, metacognition and adequate reading levels

supported students biliteracy development. The results reveal a complex, flexible and fluid biliteracy framework that allowed for biliteracy to develop through oral language development in English and Spanish. Implications for instruction are explored.


225 pages




Northern Illinois University

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