Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Jack A. Dougherty


This project investigates and compares the arguments that advocates for Spanish-English dual-language programs use to persuade others and gain support in racially diverse New York City vs. predominantly White Utah. In addition, it seeks to understand the challenges that advocate face when attempting to persuade different audiences to support dual-language schooling. The results of this research suggest that he primary argument voiced by advocates was economic. Dual-language immersion programs were defined as an economic asset to benefit both the students and the nation at large. Following the economic argument, a cultural argument was also used to promote dual language immersion schools. When comparing the two states, Utah advocates favored the economic argument, while the New York City advocates were evenly mixed between economic and cultural arguments, but in different ways due to demographics. Finally, all those interviewed expressed that it is very challenging to convince others to support dual language programs. The challenges included difficulty finding qualified teachers to hire, difficulty persuading parents to understand that allowing their children to learn in two languages does not put them behind in their academic work in English, and difficulty attracting students to become interested in learning Spanish as a second language.


Senior project completed at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies.