Date of Award

Winter 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum & Instruction

First Advisor

Susan J. Britsch

Committee Chair

Susan J. Britsch

Committee Member 1

Jill P. May

Committee Member 2

Tony J. Silva

Committee Member 3

Luciana C. de Oliveira


This study explores the nature of English language learning by kindergartners as they engage in multimodal literacy practices in response to picturebook readings in a mainstream classroom. Three focal Spanish-speaking kindergartners and their classroom teacher took part in this study. Data were collected daily for four months in a half-day morning kindergarten program. The participants' verbal and nonverbal classroom interactions during picturebook readings were coded and analyzed to characterize the nature of ELL kindergartners' multimodal responses to picturebook readings. Findings indicate that the classroom instruction did not fully address the differences in the focal children's levels of English language proficiency. Further, the use of various modes of expression by individual children for meaning-making received limited support in terms of language development and literacy learning.