Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Ondine Gage


After Proposition 227 passed in 1998, schools in California dismantled their bilingual education. As a result, minority children were forced into English-only instruction classrooms. Today, the shortage of bilingual education in schools, causes bilingual children to keep their native language and knowledge at home and unseen by teachers. In order to understand bilingual language development, this report answers the following questions: What is subtractive bilingualism? What are the factors of subtractive bilingualism? Does subtractive bilingualism affect students’ identity? In a review of the literature on bilingual language development, the research shows that bilingual children in English-only classrooms ultimately prefer the use of the majority language, English. I chose to do a qualitative autoethnographic case study design where on the one hand I am reflecting on my own bilingual development, and on the other, I am reflecting on my younger brother’s bilingual development. My findings indicate that my younger brother developed a bilingual ability known as receptive bilingual ability.