Sarah Scallon

Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Paper

Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Urban Education

Colleges & School

College Of Education And Leadership

First Advisor

Corey Thompson

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Bilingualism; Reading; Students--Attitudes; Bilingualism--Attitudes


The purpose of this research was to determine how teacher language use affects bilingual students’ English reading development and their attitudes towards self, school, and bilingualism. Specifically, it was hypothesized that flexibly mixing Spanish and English during reading instruction would increase students’ English reading growth and improve their attitudes as compared to when the teacher used only English. The study was conducted at a bilingual urban charter school situated in a majority Latino community. The participants consisted of three male and eight female second grade students ranging in age from seven to eight years old. All of the students spoke Spanish as their primary language and all but two were classified as English Language Learners. The study was conducted in two phases. Pre and post attitude surveys and English reading assessments were given at the beginning and end of each phase in order to measure attitude changes and reading growth. During the first phase the teacher delivered English reading instruction using exclusively English, while during the second phase the teacher flexibly used Spanish to support English reading instruction. Reading assessment and survey data showed that students made more reading growth when the teacher used only English, while their attitudes were more positive when the teacher flexibly mixed languages. Flaws in research design related to the reading assessment may render the reading growth findings invalid. However, this study affirms that teacher use of Spanish and English during instruction has a positive impact on students’ attitudes towards self, school, and bilingualism.


Open Access

OCLC Number