Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2016

Academic Department



“¡Se habla español!” One cannot help but notice this phrase is becoming more and more prevalent in store windows, commercial advertisements, and phone recordings. According to the United States Census Bureau (2013), there are approximately fifty four million Hispanics living in the United States. Furthermore, the number of Latinos living in the United States is projected to grow. The Pew Research Center for Social and Demographic trends estimates that by 2050, Hispanics will make up over 29% of the United States population, whereas Caucasians will become a minority (Pew Social Trends, 2008). Since the population of Spanish-speaking Americans continues to rise, the need to understand both the Spanish and English language will only increase. As children grow up in a culture that is becoming progressively multilingual, it becomes apparent that the public education system must adapt. In preparing students for increasing national diversity, teachers are searching for ways to incorporate elements of foreign language into their daily lessons. Both developmental and neurological research overwhelmingly supports starting language instruction in early childhood. This paper reviews the existing literature, as well as discusses the implementation of a qualitative action research study that investigated the question: What are the most effective planning and implementation processes for incorporating the Spanish language into a predominantly heterogeneous, native-English speaking kindergarten classroom in the United States?


Senior Thesis.