Date of Award

Spring 1-26-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Carol Anderson-Woo, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Jonathan Greenberg, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Tim McCarty, Ed.D.


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify, describe, and recommend the specific cross-linguistic connection instructional strategies that teachers in TWBI 90/10 programs have found to be most effective for fostering language and literacy development.

Methodology: This qualitative phenomenological study explored how teachers of TWBI 90/10 programs perceived the use of specific cross-linguistic connection instructional strategies to better serve emergent bilingual learners (EBLs) and what implications cross-linguistic connections had on dual language instruction. To determine what best instructional strategies support bilingualism, biliteracy, academic achievement and cultural competence, in-depth semi structured interviews were conducted. Ten teachers were selected to be interviewed and provided insight as to what they believed was most effective to support students’ language and literacy learning.

Findings: The findings from the study indicated that think-pair-share, peer collaboration time, identifying cognates through read alouds, vocabulary in context, listing cognates, and modeling language in a safe space have been found to be the most effective cross-linguistic connection instructional strategies for fostering language and literacy development in EBLs. In addition, it was determined that TWBI 90/10 teachers recommend thematic teaching and having visual references around the learning environment to strengthen cross-linguistic connections that support EBLs in achieving language proficiency and literacy in two languages. The semistructured interviews yielded 13 identified themes, six key findings, and two unexpected findings.

Conclusions: It is concluded that opportunities for student interaction strengthen cross-linguistic connections, a conscious effort to use semantic and syntactic cues to identify cognates builds vocabulary, a supportive environment fosters language development, ongoing training is needed for bilingual teachers, and creating a strong bilingual teacher pipeline will be required.

Recommendations: I recommend that teachers use a variety of collaborative strategies, teachers use a variety of cognate awareness strategies, schools must foster a supportive environment for students to use their linguistic repertoire, staff must model effective cross-linguistic strategies, schools need to provide parent presentations, partnerships between school districts and higher educational organizations must be created, professional development must be required, universities must advocate for research, bilingual organizations must advocate for research, and publishers and authors must highlight cross-linguistic connections in their text.