Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Traditional approaches to examining the effectiveness of bilingual programs typically compare them to monolingual programs and rarely discuss the meaning and complexity of the notion of achievement therein. A vertical case study framework is used to examine this local phenomenon at a bilingual elementary school in Chicago, Illinois across local, national, and global contexts. This vertical case study aims to answer the question; how does a bilingual program define the notion of achievement and work to facilitate that achievement for students? To do this, I conducted interviews and analyzed policy documents to examine how achievement is defined in bilingual education based on the two basic levels of achievement. Through examining the inner workings of a bilingual school as well as analyzing the type of achievement students can demonstrate; we gain a better understanding of what bilingual education can achieve for students. This Thesis describes how bilingual education policy has changed throughout the years, and how national and global definitions of achievement fall short in supporting sound bilingual education policy. I conclude by explaining how national and global contexts have attributed to the disconnect that exists between teacher and administrator definitions of achievement. Furthermore, findings indicate that the lack of supportive legislation influences a lower level of achievement at this bilingual elementary school.

Keywords: dual-language, achievement, student achievement, bilingual education

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.