Spanish and English Reading Growth Trajectories of Multilingual Students Enrolled in a Dual-Language Immersion Program: Impacts of Language Use, Motivational Processes, and Instructional Programming
Janet Cerda

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of California, Los Angeles

Primary Discipline

In the United States, multilingual students' home-language proficiency decreases markedly by the third-immigrant generation, even when students are enrolled in dual-language immersion (DLI) schools. Certainly, there are enormous benefits to the acquisition of English proficiency, but there are also significant economic, educational, social, and personal costs in the accompanying loss of the home language. Drawing from a complex systems perspective and employing a mixed-methods design, I examine the following: (1) rates at which multilingual students' reading proficiency in Spanish and English develops (across nine time points from grades 1 ? 5); (2) factors that contribute to different growth rates; (3) students' insights on their growth, attitudes, and motivations about reading in Spanish and English; and (4) teachers' insights on the instructional strategies and practices they employed, as well as the challenges they encountered and managed while teaching. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected over a six-year period using student measures (used by teachers to inform instruction) and teacher interviews that documented the strategies, practices, and challenges teachers encountered and managed. This work will provide educators with recommendations on how to enhance the Spanish reading experiences and development of young multilingual students in DLI classrooms in an effort to prevent home language loss.
About Janet Cerda
Janet Cerda is a Ph.D. candidate in the Human Development and Psychology Division of UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Her research investigates the psychosocial and bi/multilingual development of immigrant children and youth over time and examines classroom assessment practices that document K-12 multilingual and multicultural teaching and learning. Janet's work is informed by her experiences as a classroom teacher, and by her students', their families', and her family's experiences with supporting the home language in different contexts. Before joining UCLA, Janet was a New York City public school teacher (grades 3 ? 6). In Los Angeles, she worked with teachers and school leaders at a university-partnered public school to expand their dual language program to the secondary grades. She has worked at various research labs as a graduate student researcher: The Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education; The UCLA Center for Community Schooling; and The ELPA21 Assessment and Professional Development Project at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing. Janet has also participated in advocacy work, collaborating with the Social and Public Art Resource Center to support bilingual programming funded by the Los Angeles Unified School District and parent workshops sponsored by Californians Together. Janet holds degrees in Bilingual Education from City University of New York, Hunter College (M.S.Ed) and Studio Art from Oberlin College (B.A. Hons.). She was a New York City Teaching Fellow and is a recipient of the Televisa Foundation Education Award and the Aimée Dorr Fellowship.

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