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Mainstream Teachers in Two-Way Immersion Programs: Becoming Content and Language Teachers

Research on Preparing Inservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals

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

ISSN: 1479-3687

Publication date: 3 February 2015

Abstract

Teachers’ ability to identify and link content and language objectives is an important skill. This chapter explores how two-way immersion (TWI) teachers with a mainstream educator negotiated the shift to becoming a language-focused TWI teacher. We argue that it cannot automatically be assumed that these teachers have the knowledge and skills to attend to language issues. Specifically, our study examined how TWI teachers in three schools defined academic language and how they integrated language development into their practice through the use of language objectives. Our qualitative study features a constructivist framework using a thematic analysis of our data, which consisted of individual interviews and surveys with the teachers. Our analysis shows diverse interpretations of academic language and increased awareness of the role of language in their teaching and experienced benefits of making language objectives explicit, as teachers participated in professional development. Selecting and designing specific language-supporting activities, however, continued to be a challenge. We conclude that professional development needs to consider teachers’ different understandings and awareness of the role of language in the classroom. We also note that taking on the role of a language teacher may require a significant shift in assumptions about teaching and learning for teachers with mainstream teacher preparation and experiences and may depend on instructional context.

Keywords

Citation

de Jong, E. and Barko-Alva, K. (2015), "Mainstream Teachers in Two-Way Immersion Programs: Becoming Content and Language Teachers", Research on Preparing Inservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals (Advances in Research on Teaching, Vol. 24), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 107-126. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-368720150000024005

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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