Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Alyssa Cavazos

Second Advisor

Dr. Genevieve Garcia de Mueller

Third Advisor

Dr. Randall Monty


I take the work of Lorimer and Nowacek in “Transfer and Translingualism,” as a starting point to address these questions. In “Transfer and Translingualism” they argue that transfer and translingualism “both index movement among contexts, practices, or meaning” while “neither suggests a neutral carrying over of knowledge from one context or language to another” (260) and thus acknowledge prior knowledge and prior experience. Lorimer and Nowacek call for transfer researchers to look at language diversity “beyond recognition of difference to the matrices of power that regulate that difference” and to ask questions about how to measure transfer (261-262). Consequently, in my data collection and analysis, I look specifically for language diversity rather than ignoring it or coding it as “zero transfer.”

To answer these questions, I use a semi-practitioner inquiry and grounded approach to conducted two semester long case studies, with three sequential interviews for each participant. Preliminary results indicate that that while students may be more comfortable in Spanish, they see school and classwork and writing, even their notes, as an academic setting requiring the use of English only. While they may be processing information in one language, they are communicating in another. Consequently, they may not always be able to show that they are thinking critically in English, and chose to stay silent because of the language difference. Leonard, Rebecca Lorimer, and Rebecca Nowacek. "Transfer and translingualism." College English78.3 (2016): 258.


Copyright 2018 Norma Denae Dibrell. All Rights Reserved.