Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Literacy, Language and Culture

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Susan Cridland-Hughes

Committee Member

Rebecca Kaminski, Co-chair

Committee Member

Dr. Mikel W. Cole

Committee Member

Dr. Susan King Fullerton

Committee Member

Dr. Yanhua Zhang


Despite increasing knowledge on trilingualism, we still have a lot to learn about the intricacies of becoming trilingual and what people do with different languages that they use or are exposed to (Chevalier et al., 2012; Choi, 2019; Cruz-Ferreira, 2006). This three-study dissertation employed qualitative research methods to address three aspects that current research offers little information. Each study focused, respectively, on 1) a child’s and her parents’ daily language practices to construct meaning in three languages, 2) how mothers' language ideologies influence their language practices and the support they offer to their trilingual children, and 3) teachers’ language ideologies and their pedagogical outcomes towards their trilingual students' language use in the classroom.

Findings illustrated the significant influence that mothers’ language ideologies have over their linguistic choices, practices, and support for the children’s home language acquisition and maintenance. At the classroom level, findings pointed to teachers’ pluralist language ideologies and resulting practices that can promote students’ multilingual language use at school. Key implications include the need for a supportive environment and engagement with diverse language practices for trilingualism to develop.



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