Graduation Date

Fall 2018

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Applied Anthropology

Committee Chair Name

Mary Scoggin

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Llyn Smith

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Rebecca Robertson

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



This research presents an ethnographic account of English bilingual programs in public Spanish high schools, exploring not only how such programs currently function in the eyes of stakeholders, but also the significance of bilingualism in the context of an English Imperative perspective. This perspective, shown to be widely adopted by research participants, sees English as a practical necessity in contemporary Spanish society for future success in a globalized world. The objective of this research is to situate bilingual policy and programing within a larger socio-economic and political context and elucidate the attitudes and opinions of key policy actors – students and teachers – as constructive in the meaning of bilingual education and the taking up of English. Methods include participant observation, conducted through the researcher’s concurrent role within bilingual high schools as an English language assistant, as well as teacher interviews and student focus groups. Qualitative data was analyzed using thematic coding, revealing key themes pertaining to the functioning of bilingualism and issues faced therein, and the terms with which participants interpret and understand the importance of English acquisition. Bilingual policy in Spain is ultimately shown to serve in response to, and in the cultivation of, English Imperative views. Finally, recommendations are made for further aligning policy and program design with the experiences and perspectives of stakeholders and their understandings of what it means to take up English.

Citation Style