Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2011

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Education (Language, Literacy and Culture)

First Advisor

Kathryn F. Whitmore

First Committee Member

Linda G. Fielding

Second Committee Member

Carolyn Colvin

Third Committee Member

Bonnie S. Sunstein

Fourth Committee Member

Mary Trachsel


This is a descriptive qualitative study that explored Korean and English learning for Korean transnational immigrant children living in the United States. The study design included qualitative methods. Observations of five children in a Korean language school offered information about how they were taught Korean to retain their heritage language and culture. Additional observations of two of the children in their respective local public schools offered descriptions of their experiences learning English and U.S. public school culture. Interviews with the three teachers in these classrooms, as well as with three of the children's mothers, added background information and extended the observations. A thematic analysis process led to further understanding about the differences in the three classroom learning environments and described the ways instruction was delivered, the ways the individual children demonstrated their language learning, and the cultural context in each setting. The study found that the Korean language school and English speaking elementary schools were essential for the Korean immigrant children to improve their language proficiency in two languages as well as to learn different cultural and educational expectations.


Descriptive case study, Dual frames of reference, English classroom language learning, Korean classroom language learning, Korean immigrants education, Thematic analysis


xi, 205 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 194-205).


Copyright 2011 Seon-Hye No