Summer 2017



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Ann Mabbott

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Garett Smith

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Claire Eder


With globalization, the need and benefits of multilingualism become increasingly clear (Diamond, 2010). This study aims to identify how multilingualism is valued in a school by comparing the teachers’ perceptions of students taking world language classes versus those taking ESL classes. By understanding the perceptions of teachers towards students engaged in becoming multilingual, the study provides information on how multilingualism is perceived by the school community. Students taking world language classes are praised for their language acquisition but ELs are viewed with a deficit perspective, their potentials overshadowed. Even though the school overtly promotes multilingualism, ELs may be marginalized due to their lack of English proficiency and their identity. Their marginalization hinders their feeling of belongingness in a school where the norm is white, monolingual and English-speaking, and this may affect their academic success.

Research Methodology

Ethnography, Interview, Observation


ESL/ ELLs, Foreign Language, Multicultural Education, Teachers/ Teaching

Included in

Education Commons