Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Roxanne Mountford


The demographics in the United States continue to show a dramatic increase of immigrant students who speak a language other than English at home (Smitherman; U.S. Census); however, schooling ideologies and practices continue to treat developing bilingualism as a detriment to students entering school rather than a resource (Canagarajah; Heath; Matsuda; Valdés et al; Richardson; Santa Ana; Street). In this case study, conducted in the “Nuevo New South” (Mohl; Rich and Miranda), I observed how bilingual music and play in school-like settings can promote bilingual literacy practices and bridge gaps between traditional schooling practices and communities ways of languaging. Engaging in structured music and play practices creates spaces that can generate moments of felicidad and meta-construction of heritage language users as bilinguals.