Date of Award

6-16-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Curriculum & Instruction

Abstract

Hispanic students have historically exhibited an educational achievement gap in a variety of indicators when compared with grade-level peers from other racial, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds. One of the goals of bilingual education research has been the identification of programs and instructional practices that have been shown to be effective in closing the academic achievement gap for Hispanic students. Therefore, the goal of this study was to examine the academic programs available in one school district in order to identify which program was most effective in helping Hispanic students reach full educational parity with their native English speaking peers as measured by 40 different indicators of academic achievement grouped into three categories: performance on standardized assessments, high school performance, and overall performance on college-readiness indicators. The records of 1,357 Hispanic students enrolled in the different academic programs from 1st to 12th grade were analyzed to look for differences in their academic performance. It can be concluded, from examining the 40 key indicators of academic achievement that dual language instruction proved more effective than transitional bilingual education or Mainstream instruction in promoting academic achievement for students. Dual language instruction surpassed transitional bilingual education and mainstream instruction in all 40 indicators. This claim hold true for Hispanic students from both English and Spanish language backgrounds. The native Spanish-speaking Hispanics enrolled in dual language instruction outperformed their native English-speaking peers enrolled in Mainstream instruction in 39 of the 40 indicators of academic achievement analyzed. Keywords: bilingual education, dual language instruction, Hispanics, education.

Granting Institution

University of Texas Brownsville

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