Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum & Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Kathy Bussert-Webb

Second Advisor

Dr. Zulmaris Díaz

Third Advisor

Dr. Kip Hinton


The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) measures Texas public school students’ knowledge and skills in many areas, including fourth grade writing. This system requires that students meet a certain performance standard score in writing to be successful. This state mandate impacts many Texas districts, teachers, and students. Districts must be prepared with necessary resources and tools to meet the writing needs of all students, including emergent bilinguals.

This case study focused on investigating how a bilingual teacher in a bilingual campus taught writing to her emergent bilinguals. Using the writer’s workshop approach, which many districts implement to prepare bilingual students for the STAAR writing assessment, the students developed as successful writers. The intent of this study was to demonstrate that the writing approach itself, like any other approach that has been developed from a monoglossic lens, exclude a wider view of their emergent bilingual population. Instead, teachers must be effective biliteracy instructors with the necessary knowledge and understanding of first language (L1) and second language (L2) acquisition and the writing conventions of the L1 and L2.

This research study describes the experience of how administration (principal and vice- principal) and a language support teacher worked in collaboration with the bilingual 4th grade teacher to make a difference in a low socio-economic bilingual campus’s writing performance.

The theoretical frameworks undergirding this study are social constructivism (Vygotsky, 1962) and critical pedagogy (Freire, 2000, McLaren, 2007). Data sources included classroom observations of the teacher, demographic interview questions, and open-ended interviews of all four participants. Data analysis consisted of the Constant Comparative Method.

This qualitative case study explored: what school-wide contextual factors favor the writing development of emergent bilinguals? Based on an analysis of data, the findings, were professional identities, influenced by personal identities, positive school culture, bilingual professional learning communities, and honoring and affirming student’s linguistic resources by allowing students to translanguage and by tapping into their funds of knowledge.


Copyright 2018 Alma Rosa Martínez. All Rights Reserved.