Acknowledgments

    A doctoral dissertation is a professional goal; however, the process is what makes it all worthwhile. I have to express my gratitude to special people who were with me in space and time giving me moral and emotional support to inspire the completion of this study.

    To my daughters, Melissa and Michelle, and my son, Angel Jose, who encouraged me all along the way with their love, understanding, and time.

    To my parents, Letty and Felo, who also helped me through the hardship of leaving my children behind for a year and whom I appreciate for the gift of life and love.

    To my sisters and brothers for their encouragement.

    To an extraordinary committee chairperson, Professor MargotEly, who not only led me through the "muddy puddles" of doing qualitative research in "circles within circles" she knows so much about but who challenged me in a process of growth and awareness of whom I am and how I am that, I will carry with me and cherish throughout my life. I am grateful for her patience and time in the countless sessions, reflections, and readings.

    To Dr. Harvey Nadler, who from the early days in Puerto Rico has encouraged me throughout the doctoral program.

    To Dr. John Mayher, whose uncommon sense theory helped me to look at this dissertation in an open-ended way.

    To Dr. Margaret Anzul for her encouragement throughout my writing process, for her understanding and support, and for the countless readings, revisions, rewritings, and conferences during this journey.

    To Gerrie Kupper for her time, advice, and the skillful word processing that helped pull me through.

    To Myrta Rosa and her husband, Rafael, whose experiences coincidentally connected to mine, providing me with a model of a united Puerto Rican family. Myrta has helped me in my own growth process as a fellow doctoral student, a friend, and a mother.

    To Enrique Rosario for his love and support.

    To my colleagues of Inter American University at both Barranquitas and Guayama campuses for their encouragement. For the inspiration of Mr. Vidal Rivera, who through his paternal orientation made this research project a reality.

    To my students who have come and gone through the past 25 years inspiring the research quest of this study.

    To all of those who one way or another have contributed to my motivation to seek for the betterment of the teaching and learning of English in Puerto Rico.

    Last but not least to God almighty, who is my creator and spiritual guide and who has walked along my footsteps to overcome every obstacle in this journey.