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Promoting Exploratory Talk with Emergent Bilinguals

Research on Preparing Inservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals

ISBN: 978-1-78441-494-8, eISBN: 978-1-78441-493-1

Publication date: 3 February 2015


The authors explain their approach to teaching literatura infantil (children’s literature) in Spanish to bilingual teachers pursuing their master’s degree in bilingual education at a university in South Texas. In this Self-Study of Teacher Education Practice (S-STEP) research, the authors investigated how teachers can transform their practice and come to value their students’ abilities to interpret literature. They engaged the teachers in projects using quality children’s literature. The projects were carried out by graduate inservice teachers teaching Spanish/English bilingual students studying at different grade levels. Some teachers taught along the Texas/Mexico border and others taught in a large metropolitan school district in central Texas. The authors used their analysis of the inservice teachers’ projects as data to inform their own practice as teacher educators. In the first project, the bilingual teachers engaged their students in exploratory talk that allowed them to bring their backgrounds and experiences into discussions of what they read. The second project challenged the teachers to consider the importance of the images in high-quality illustrated children’s books. The teachers asked their students to read the images and expand their understanding of the books by considering more than the words in the texts. In the final project, the teachers guided their students through Ada’s stages of creative dialogue using children’s literature. The authors describe the projects in detail and give examples from four different teachers showing what they learned about teaching children’s literature and how they changed their perspectives about what their emergent bilingual students could do. Although only four teachers are highlighted, they are representative of students taking the course and engaging in the projects over three different semesters.



Freeman, Y.S. and Rodríguez, A.D. (2015), "Promoting Exploratory Talk with Emergent Bilinguals", Research on Preparing Inservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals (Advances in Research on Teaching, Vol. 24), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 55-79.



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