Scaffolding the continua of biliterate development in the Spanish language immersion classroom
The purpose of this qualitative research project is to describe the scaffolding strategies used by a teacher to engage and support students as they work within the continua of biliterate development in the fifth-grade Spanish language immersion classroom. As language immersion programs and dual language schools continue to grow in popularity in Canada and the United States, this study seeks to illuminate and interpret a teacher?s work with students in the Spanish Language Immersion Program (SLIP), a research site located in the urban Midwestern United States. This instrumental case study employed the lens of Sociocultural Theory to explore the principal research question: How does the teacher scaffold student development of biliteracy within language and content instruction in the immersion school context? The research also explores pre-planned scaffolding versus interactional scaffolding, as well as the tensions and forces within the broader context that the teacher encounters while working with students in this bilingual educational environment. Classroom observations, teacher interviews, administration interviews, and artifacts were analyzed using methods borrowed from Grounded Theory. Findings from this study highlight the characteristics of the Community of Practice created by the teacher in this classroom that include a focus upon encouragement, knowledge, organization, and literate habitus. Additionally, two visual models were created to present the data including: "Scaffolding Episodes in the Development of Biliteracy," to illustrate the task-oriented support provided by the teacher, and "Centripetal versus Centrifugal Forces," to present the forces and tensions that the teacher faced within the historical phases of the Spanish Language Immersion Program.
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