Doctoral Dissertations

Orcid ID

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Judson Laughter

Committee Members

Nils Jaekel, Megan Barolet-Fogarty, Thorston Huth, Lisa King


This qualitative interpretive case study unites literacy education and the field of second language acquisition with quantitative surveys and questionnaires to explore self-efficacy beliefs and literacy learning during transitional experiences of rising fourth through ninth Latino/a/a English Language Learners (LELLs) in a summer reading program. Community Engaged Scholarship in a co-developed summer program with community partner Centro Hispano de East Tennessee frames this research to offer diverse perspectives in curriculum and instructional improvement efforts towards equitable literacy education. How schools and youth-serving organizations support LELLs’ transitional processes in second language acquisition and literacy is shaped by how well teachers and community members understand their lived experiences and the mediating role of self-efficacy in reading and academic achievement. There is a lack of experimental research on the effects of summer learning programs on youth and limited research on the role of ethnicity in self-efficacy for ELs. I facilitate book clubs using Multicultural Literature for Latino/a/as from a Latino/a critical literacy framework to cultivate the narrative that marginalized languages can be a language of power in literacy pedagogy and in curricula and program development. I explore the mediating role of ethnic identity in self-efficacy (belief in ability to achieve) during Latinidad book clubs to understand how culturally responsive literacy practices influence development of second language selves. The question is what are the overall effects of beliefs about Latino/a/a cultural values on ELs’ a) heritage identification and b) self-efficacy? Findings suggest ways self-efficacy and ethnic identity mediate the construction of second language selves through collaborative literacy practices in participants’ interviews or counter-stories, autobiographical poems, and critical reflections with Multicultural Literature for Latino/as; results from descriptive statistics inform positive self-efficacy beliefs and suggest methodological approaches to study self-efficacy in interdisciplinary SLA and education fields.

[EK1]This definition aligns with Bandura's (2002) and my specific subscale of the survey, as it relates to values coding (beliefs, attitudes, values) in qual coding.

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