Date of Graduation

Winter 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

Susan Katz

Second Advisor

Sedique Popal

Third Advisor

Sue Bae


This qualitative study, conducted at a Northern California university, explored how six Korean bilingual adults expressed their unique identities while utilizing both Korean and English in their daily and academic lives. The six study participants shared their journeys as bilingual adults who migrated to the United States from South Korea to attend graduate school. Several will return to South Korea at the conclusion of their graduate studies. Research data included narratives from in-depth personal interviews as well as focus group discussions.

This qualitative study postulated that translanguaging is commonly observed within bilingual/multilingual populations and can be utilized as a source of meaning-making as well as a means to express one’s identity among bilingual learners. The key findings of this study illustrate that one’s languaging practices, environment, support systems, and academic experiences can have an impact on one’s ability to navigate multilingual spaces in authentic and empowering ways. This study also highlighted the participants’ resilience and reliance upon familial, social and linguistic wealth in order to successfully express their unique identities and ways of being.