Date of Award

Summer 8-25-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Maria de Lourdes Serpa

Second Advisor

Mary Cazabon

Third Advisor

Claudia Rinaldi


This research has focused on the creation of the Freire-UDL Literacy-Alfabetización Model and its application to practice in the development of a Teacher’s Guide to support educators in teaching literacy/alfabetización to nonliterate Spanish-speaking students with limited or interrupted formal education (SIFE/SLIFE) in 40 hours or less. A two-fold problem was the impetus to this study: The urgency to teach a significant number of nonliterate Spanish- speaking SIFE/SLIFE to read effectively through their home language (L1), Spanish; and the need to support Spanish bilingual middle and high school SIFE educators in teaching their nonliterate Spanish-speaking students how to read in a short amount of time. It has been shown that learning to read only happens once. Three research questions framed this study, which included three phases: (1) A comprehensive study of Freire’s method of Alfabetización andConscientización; (2) The creation of the Freire-UDL Literacy-Alfabetización Model; and (3) The development of the Freire-UDL Literacy-Alfabetización Teacher’s Guide and its validation. The Freire-UDL Literacy-Alfabetización Model integrates Freire’s pedagogy with the UDL Framework to maximize literacy learning opportunities for diverse nonliterate Spanish-speaking EL adolescents. Ten Massachusetts urban district Spanish bilingual SIFE teachers participated in validation of the model and the Teacher’s Guide. In addition to reviewing the guide these teachers experienced literacy activities in conscientización (thinking) and alfabetización (literacy). Responses to the validation questionnaire indicated that teachers found the Freire- UDL Literacy-Alfabetización Model and Teacher’s Guide to be clear and very helpful in its implementation. Recommendations for further research and practice are included.

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