Education K-12 M.A.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Elliott, Nathan

Second Reader

Lisa Silmser


In a world of people who are in constant migration, it is important for educators to consider the heritage language of students in their classrooms who are learning the target language of instruction. There are many misconceptions about multilingual versus monolingual education. Based on research conducted in schools and classrooms throughout the world, this thesis focuses on how to best incorporate a multilingual approach in the classroom to better serve students with diverse linguistic histories. The conclusion challenges an antiquated monolingual stance that creates academic and literacy inequalities for students whose heritage languages are not the institutional language. The international consensus among educators is that the heritage language of students is foundational for academic and linguistic literacy. In response, the research includes a handbook with suggestions for the implementation of a multilingual pedagogy in the classroom and school wide. A multilingual approach is not a matter of preference; all stakeholders must prioritize multilingual students and evaluate how their schools and districts are addressing their linguistic literacy needs.

Degree Name

Education K-12 M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis