Date of Award

Spring 4-2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Advisor

Nilda Bayron-Resnick

Second Advisor

Edith Gwathmey


This paper addresses three areas of early childhood development and education: a Language development of a native Spanish-speaking child in a dual-language school environment. Guided art experiences as a vehicle for self-expression, language development, and personal self-awareness in a young child. The role of a non-teacher/non-family member in a young child's development of self-awareness and language. The paper presents a case study with related research, analysis, and suggestions for educators. Lauren Rodriguez (pseudonym), currently 7.8 years old, is a Mexican- American girl whose first language is Spanish. She first encountered English at her bilingual preschool, where she began attending school at age 4. When she started school, she did not speak in the school setting, although she was quite verbal at home. I worked with Lauren on a weekly basis, in her home, over a period of two years. This paper includes documentation of my weekly sessions with Lauren, and detailed observations about her language use and development, her social development, and her use of art materials for self-expression. The descriptive sections of the paper are supported by research about first and second language acquisition, dual-language education, and the role of art in young children's development. The paper concludes with a section proposing ways to support a child like Lauren in a classroom setting, based on my knowledge of her outside the classroom and on the insights gleaned from my research. An appendix provides further detailed documentation of Lauren's development.


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Bilingual early childhood special and general education dual certification (Program of study)