Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


This project unites Paolo Freire's definition of critical literacy, Jim Cummin's definition of basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALPs), Steven Krashen's and Tracy Terrell's work on language acquisition and development and Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory for the development of a Language Arts curriculum for Middle School Latino English-language learners. The curriculum focuses on poetry. The activities, 19 lessons that are 45-90 minutes long, included in the curriculum address the following areas: figurative language, grammar, vocabulary building, and the use of technologies. The use of Spanish to facilitate English acquisition is emphasized throughout. The underlying theme for this curriculum is literacy as a tool for empowerment and emancipation. The curriculum for this project anticipated four outcomes: 1) the treatment of the native language as a valid and legitimate vehicle of knowledge 2) the fostering of a strong environment of cooperation between teacher and student in the co-construction of knowledge and learning 3) the expedition and facilitation of English acquisition and schema building via the native language and 4) the use of varied activities that incorporate technology which access distinct learning styles and intelligences of students.


Thesis (M.A.) Institute for Advanced Studies in Education