Improving Emergent Bilinguals’ Metalinguistic Awareness Through the Explicit Teaching of Morphology Within Spanish/English Cognates


Spring 5-12-2015



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Jamie Martinson

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Feride Erku

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Lisa Bence


The research question addressed was, how does the explicit teaching of Spanish/English cognates to 2nd grade emergent bilinguals through the use of science vocabulary, improve students’ abilities to identify patterns among the morphological elements found in cognates and apply these patterns to science content writing? The motivating influence for this capstone was a workshop on Spanish/English biliteracy that encouraged students’ use of cross-linguistic connections between languages to build their metalinguistic awareness. The author uses this idea to plan and teach three science units to her second grade dual-language class that teach the morphological patterns in cognates and application of this to writing. After analyzing pre-tests, writing samples, and recorded recall interviews, the author concludes that; all seven of the students in the research group improved their abilities to identify morphological patterns found in cognates, applied these patterns to their own writing, and justified why words were cognates, thus improving their metalinguistic awareness.


ESL/ ELLs, Bilingualism/Biliteracy

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