Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum & Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Sandra Musanti

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura Jewett

Third Advisor

Dr. Sandra Mercuri


Schools in the United States are witnessing a rich ethnic and linguistic diversity in their student corpus. Languages spoken by these children vary from state to state; however, Spanish is the second language most spoken after English (Office of English Language Acquisition, 2015). As a nation, there is a tremendous potential for these students to become biliterate or academically proficient in Spanish and English. Furthermore, with the advent of the 21st century, the educational setting is experiencing an increased interest in the integration of technology in education and students are prompted to become digitally literate.

The aim of this exploratory qualitative study is to describe how emergent bilingual second-grade students utilize their full linguistic repertoire when using digital literacies in their academic writing, in English and Spanish. Furthermore, this study investigates how multimodal writing facilitates the development of biliteracy.

The study revealed four findings. First, Latino students utilize bilingual practices, such as metalinguistic awareness and translanguaging to construct texts. Second, emergent bilinguals use online collaboration and modes of meaning to develop their voice and writing while engaging in multimodal writing. Third, multimodal writing supports the development of vocabulary and spelling. Fourth, multimodal writing empowers bilingual students.


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