Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Teaching and Learning (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Mileidis Gort

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Langer-Osuna

Third Committee Member

Mary Avalos

Fourth Committee Member

Ramón A. Martínez


This study examined the ways in which a pair of Spanish/English dual language bilingual education preschool teachers—one teacher who was designated as the model of Spanish and the other teacher the model of English—enacted their bilingualism as they worked cohesively and simultaneously to work toward common instructional goals. Dual language bilingual education is an instructional model wherein bilingualism is promoted among all students regardless of their level of bilingual proficiency, and in which students are instructed a significant amount of the day in a language other than English (García, 2013). Methodologically, I drew on classroom video data, field notes, and other relevant artifacts collected weekly during shared reading activity in the focal classroom over the course of one academic year to document the interactions in which teachers engaged with each other and students. An initial pass of the data allowed me to explore and map out the ways that the teachers coordinated their practices by identifying the instructional targets and instructional strategies that characterized those practices. A subsequent pass of the data aided in characterizing the ways that the teachers drew on their bilingualism within instances of coordinated practice to support their instructional goals. Guided by a translanguaging framework (García, 2009a, 2009b), findings indicate that teachers not only made expected choices about their language practices (i.e., they maintained their designated language), but that other times they also made choices that departed from the expectations of the school’s language policy (e.g., at least one of the teachers used bilingual speech). As such, teachers drew on their own and each other’s bilingualism, manifested through both monolingual and bilingual individual speech and collaborative talk, and a mutual understanding of each language. Teachers’ use of dynamic bilingualism (e.g., drawing on their own and students’ full linguistic repertoires) supported the coordination of their instructional targets and instructional practices. These instances of coordinated practice show teachers taking on multiple discursive roles—ones that support meaning making between the two of them and ones that support meaning making for students. Engaging in, and therefore modeling, dynamic bilingualism provided students with an authentic bilingual experience and may support their meaning making in ways that languaging monolingually could not afford.


dual language; bilingualism; preschool; read aloud; translanguaging; coordinated practice