Principal Perceptions of Dual Language Programs

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Curriculum and Instruction

Date of Award

Summer 2023


As U.S. demographics change, making Latinx students majority minorities that comprise 78.1% of the emergent bilingual population nationwide, education systems must be ready to respond to the challenges. Texas shares similar demographics. This student group has historically underperformed and faced challenges in terms of language acquisition and being predominantly economically disadvantaged. This underperformance has created an achievement gap for Latinx emergent bilinguals. Dual language programs are the only programs that have the unique ability to close the achievement gap. These programs can close the achievement gap with the conditions that students participate and learn their first language and English for at least 6 years and that the program stays true to valuing the first language as a right and as a resource. Schools are inherently politicized which can reinforce the marginalization of student groups such as Latinx emergent bilinguals. Legislation at the national and state level has gone through different periods of allowing and restricting first language instruction. While some legislative attempts have been made to protect emergent bilinguals, it is not enough to ensure their academic success and educational equity. This is why campus leaders are instrumental in the success of their schools. Research states that “high-quality leadership makes a significant difference to school improvement and student learning outcomes” (Devine et al., 2013). Campus principals must take on the responsibility to ensure the fidelity of implementation of their dual language programs and take steps to ensure educational equity for Latinx emergent bilinguals. However, some campus administrators may not be aware of their ideologies and perceptions regarding their dual language programs and how they may impact the achievement of their Latinx emergent bilinguals. Their Ideologies and perceptions will impact the way language policies are carried out and determine the success of the language program and consequently[ the success of its students. Despite the important role that campus leaders play in the success of their dual language programs, there is not sufficient research that targets the impact their ideologies and perceptions have on their leadership. This study sets out to study this relationship to add to the body of research.


Juan Araujo

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Education | Educational Administration and Supervision