Research Consortium for Belizean Studies


Doctoral Dissertation: Belizean teachers’ perceptions of Intercultural Bilingual Education as a language preservation tool: A Q Methodology Study


In this study, the perceptions of 42 teachers—from the Stann Creek District, Belize—regarding the implementation and use of Intercultural Bilingual Education (IBE) as a language preservation tool in their schools were examined. Intercultural Bilingual Education (IBE) is a teaching method that aims at promoting the preservation of indigenous languages by integrating an indigenous language and culture into the academic curriculum, such that students can develop a better appreciation of their history and traditional practices. To examine the perspectives of teachers regarding IBE, Q Methodology was used to examine the research question: What is the range of perspectives teachers hold regarding IBE as a language preservation tool? From participant interviews and responses to an open-ended prompt centered on the research questions, the researcher developed a 40-item Q sample comprising statements that represented distinct perspectives on the use of IBE as a language preservation tool. Forty-two participants then sorted these 40 statements within a forced distribution grid that ranged from “most like my perspective” (+4) to “least like my perspective” (-4). These 42 Q sorts were then correlated; the correlations were then analyzed and rotated using PQ method software. Four factors were extracted from this process and they were converted to factor arrays resembling the same initial forced distribution grid. Based on an interpretation of the holistic configuration of these factor arrays and descriptive comments from participants concerning their sorts, these factors were named as: Strongly Supported IBE (Factor 1), Strongly Opposed but Conflicted about IBE (Factor 2), Cautiously Optimistic about IBE (Factor 3), and Supported IBE for Intergenerational Language Transfer (Factor 4). Implications from this study for administrators of similar programs include the importance of understanding teacher beliefs regarding their preparedness to deliver an IBE curriculum as well as their perceptions regarding the usefulness of such an approach, particularly given the additional instructional time needed to deliver it.


University of North Florida

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Publisher Citation

Barrett, Enita E., "Belizean teachers’ perceptions of Intercultural Bilingual Education as a language preservation tool: A Q Methodology Study" (2017). UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 732.