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A major challenge in teacher education in the United States is how to address the academic and linguistic needs of the growing numbers of emergent bilingual students. A…
A major challenge in teacher education in the United States is how to address the academic and linguistic needs of the growing numbers of emergent bilingual students. A second challenge is how to prepare predominantly White monolingual preservice teachers with little exposure to speakers of languages other than English to educate culturally and linguistically diverse students. With these two challenges in mind, this study examines how a course on literacy, language, and culture grounded in pedagogies of discomfort shifts preservice teachers’ deficit orientations toward emergent bilingual students’ language and literacy resources. Using Ofelia García’s (2009) definition for emergent bilingualism, this mixed-method study was conducted from 2011 to 2013 with 73 preservice teacher participants enrolled at an urban mid-Atlantic university. Quantitative data consisted of pre and post surveys while qualitative data comprised written responses to open-ended statements, self-analyses, and participant interviews. Findings evidence preservice teachers’ endorsement of monolingualism before coursework; however, pedagogies of discomfort during coursework provoke critical reflection leading to significant shifts in preservice teachers’ dispositions toward teaching language diversity in the classroom with implications for teaching emergent bilingual students.
This chapter examines in-service teachers’ transformed perspectives and practices for educating emergent bilinguals resulting from graduate study in a bilingual education…
This chapter examines in-service teachers’ transformed perspectives and practices for educating emergent bilinguals resulting from graduate study in a bilingual education graduate program in Chicago. This examination is contextualized in consideration of emergent bilinguals relative to the changing face of P-12 classrooms and gaps in teacher education. Findings from autoethnographic and discourse analytic inquiry suggest that teacher preparation in bilingual education (1) prepared and empowered in-service teachers to meet the academic, social, and cultural-linguistic needs of emergent bilinguals in their classrooms and (2) fostered a conscious inner transformation in in-service teachers that resulted in new ways and purposes of interacting with emergent bilingual students, their families, and colleagues. Findings also suggest that although there is institutional progress in meeting emergent bilinguals’ needs, it is incremental and insufficient. There are three major deficiencies: (1) new and increased teacher education standards lack the required specialized coursework in the education of emergent bilinguals; (2) teacher preparation of emergent bilinguals is inadequate; and (3) teacher preparation programs resist requiring specialized coursework in teaching emergent bilinguals.
This chapter explores those things that hinder the implementation of effective practices of teachers working with emergent bilinguals within the educational and political…
This chapter explores those things that hinder the implementation of effective practices of teachers working with emergent bilinguals within the educational and political landscape of ever increasing educational reform efforts. The focus is on strategies for transforming elements of these teachers’ experiences into effective and sustainable practices. Research was conducted in bilingual and immersion elementary classrooms (Spanish-English) in public schools in a city in the southwestern United States. The research question that guided the study was How can the Goal Spiral – a structured plan designed for teachers to incorporate personal and professional goals into their daily teaching – change teachers’ views of their teaching and simultaneously meet the needs of emergent bilingual students Research was conducted using a mixed methods study of interviews and an analysis of teachers’ responses to research survey questions. Research focused on pedagogical practices, as well as teachers’ energy and professional well-being and their effects on emergent bilingual students. Implications for teacher education programs and mentoring of in-service bilingual teachers were identified and discussed.
This chapter discusses the findings of a qualitative study conducted on the US–Mexico border to investigate preservice bilingual teachers’ understandings of the effective…
This chapter discusses the findings of a qualitative study conducted on the US–Mexico border to investigate preservice bilingual teachers’ understandings of the effective practices needed to teach content in bilingual classrooms. Specifically, participants’ understandings of teaching language through content to emergent bilinguals and the role of academic language in a content methods course taught in Spanish for preservice bilingual teachers were explored. The results of the study show that preservice bilingual teachers struggled to internalize how to develop language objectives that embed the four language domains as well as the three levels of academic language into their content lessons. Although participants emphasized vocabulary development, they integrated multiple scaffolding strategies to support emergent bilinguals. Moreover, although preservice bilingual teachers struggled with standard Spanish, they used translanguaging to navigate the discourse of education in their content lessons. The use of academic Spanish was also evident in participants’ planning of instruction. The authors contend that bilingual teacher preparation would benefit from the implementation of a dynamic bilingual curriculum that: (a) incorporates sustained opportunities across coursework for preservice bilingual teachers to strengthen their understanding of content teaching and academic language development for emergent bilinguals; (b) values preservice bilingual teachers’ language varieties, develops metalinguistic awareness, and fosters the ability to navigate between language registers for teaching and learning; and (c) values translanguaging as a pedagogical strategy that provides access to content and language development.
During a site-based certification program in a large county school district in the southeastern United States, 14 educators took 7 graduate courses on teaching emergent…
During a site-based certification program in a large county school district in the southeastern United States, 14 educators took 7 graduate courses on teaching emergent bilinguals. These educators made a shift in their practices and perceived a corresponding shift in their teaching efficacy. Ten years after the onset of this program, researchers returned to the site and conducted a mixed-methods study. The first purpose of this study was to explore educators’ perceptions regarding instructional practices for teaching emergent bilinguals after a decade had passed. The second purpose was to identify course features perceived by educators as having been most instrumental in fostering a long-term transformation in their teaching practices. Data were collected from a survey and interviews with the 14 educators (13 teachers and a program specialist) who had completed this certification program. Results indicated changes in their teaching methods and interactions with parents as well as heightened confidence for taking on leadership roles. Study participants identified professional learning communities, cyclical reflective activities, and action research projects as the course features that had been instrumental in transforming their practices for working with emergent bilinguals. Findings suggest that this site-based certification program was a catalyst for generating individual change that continued beyond program completion. By exploring this decade-long transformation, the current study provides implications for designing and implementing graduate certification courses that prepare in-service teachers to work effectively with emergent bilinguals.
As members of a team of bilingual preservice faculty in the South Texas borderlands, we have observed a consistent, pattern of inappropriate pedagogy offered to the…
As members of a team of bilingual preservice faculty in the South Texas borderlands, we have observed a consistent, pattern of inappropriate pedagogy offered to the emergent bilingual learners (EBLs) in the region’s inadequate PK-12 system, where subtractivist teaching practices and school policies undermined their academic development and their personal and professional identities as bilinguals and linguistic minorities. Our task is to teach our preservice students about best practices as we help them develop an awareness of themselves as bilingual, bi-literate professionals who can navigate within the accountability-driven school system and provide additive developmental learning opportunities to their emergent bilingual students.
In this chapter, we describe the experiences and findings from a five-year research project that employed an innovative approach to higher education pedagogy to teach 63 bilingual preservice students how to provide research-based, constructivist-oriented additive pedagogy to emergent bilinguals. Analysis of data from journals and focus group discussions suggest the development of the critical stance necessary for the development of an additive approach needed for the optimal development of emergent bilinguals. Although the study is limited to the specific context of South Texas US–Mexico border communities, the findings have implications for the preparation of bilingual education settings across the nation.
This chapter explores an approach to instruction in pre-service classes called “goofiness pedagogy.” Embedded in teaching and learning theories, goofiness pedagogy is…
This chapter explores an approach to instruction in pre-service classes called “goofiness pedagogy.” Embedded in teaching and learning theories, goofiness pedagogy is designed to model creative teaching to help emergent bilingual learners academically, linguistically, and socially. Currently in Arizona, highly restrictive language policies limit curricular and pedagogical choices for students acquiring English. As a result, pre-service teachers are often reluctant to work with them, and worried that their own creativity will be constrained. This chapter thus discusses a multi-year study of goofiness pedagogy – theatrical drama, play, and performance – that helps pre-service teachers develop an alternative vision of exceptional teaching for and with emergent bilingual learners. Data sources include student and author reflections on the practice of performed goofiness in Structured English Immersion classes at the University of Arizona, video-taped performances of students engaged in drama and improvisation, and analysis of student written artifacts. Findings indicate that while some pre-teachers hesitate to participate in “performed goofiness,” the majority believe that theatrical activities encourage them to try out innovative teaching strategies, take risks, make mistakes, and analyze those mistakes in a supportive community of practice. Equally important, pre-service teachers begin to understand that learning in general, and language learning in particular, are social pursuits and that teachers should create social spaces in their own classrooms to support the academic and language development of emergent bilingual students. Goofiness pedagogy also has transformed the author’s own teaching practices, and consequently represents a “pedagogy of hope” within a rigid state context.
The main purpose is to investigate what resources young emergent bilinguals use to communicate a multimodal response to children’s literature. In particular, attention is…
The main purpose is to investigate what resources young emergent bilinguals use to communicate a multimodal response to children’s literature. In particular, attention is paid to the ways students translanguage as part of the learning process.
An ethnography-in-education approach was used to capture the social and cultural aspects of literacy learning in an English-only context. A multimodal transcript analysis was applied to video-recorded data as a method for examining semiotic resources and modes of learning.
The results revealed that students used technology, paper-based resources and peers to construct meaning relative to books. Experimentation or play with the affordances of the tablet computer served as avenues to determine the agentive selection of resources. As students wrestled with constructing meaning, they gathered multiple perspectives from peers and children’s literature to involve symbols and representations in their texts. Signs, multiple language forms and meaning came together for the social shaping of situated perspectives.
This study addresses the call for educators to engage in multiliterate, multimodal practices with young learners in the contexts of classrooms. It provides insight into the need to create multilingual learning spaces where translanguaging freely occurs and the meaningful ways early childhood learners use technology. To fully understand what emergent bilinguals know and can do, they must be afforded a variety of semiotic resources at school.
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to share empirical research with educators and researchers to show how the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) model can support…
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to share empirical research with educators and researchers to show how the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) model can support bilingual teachers’ implementation of dialogic reading comprehension instruction in student-led small groups and linguistically responsive literacy instruction with emergent bilingual students (Spanish–English) in grades one through four.
Design/Methodology/Approach – The authors provide brief literature reviews on the literacy instruction that bilingual students in low-resourced schools typically receive, on dialogic reading comprehension instruction, and on linguistically responsive literacy instruction. Then, the authors show how teacher educators utilized the GRR framework and process to support bilingual teachers’ movement from whole-class, teacher-directed instruction to dialogic reading comprehension instruction in student-led small groups. Next, the authors illustrate how a third-grade dual-language teacher employed the GRR to teach her students how to use Spanish–English cognates. Lastly, the authors share three vignettes from a first-grade bilingual teacher’s use of the GRR to facilitate her students’ comprehension of teacher read-alouds of narrative and informational texts and English writing.
Findings – When the teacher educators employed the GRR model in combination with socio-constructivist professional staff development, the teachers revealed their concerns about small-group instruction. The teacher educators adjusted their instruction and support to address the teachers’ concerns, helping them to implement small-group instruction. The third-grade bilingual teacher employed the GRR to teach her students how to use a translanguaging strategy, cognates, when writing, spelling, and reading. The first-grade bilingual teacher’s use of the GRR during teacher read-alouds in Spanish and English provided space for her and her students’ translanguaging, and facilitated the students’ comprehension of narrative and informational texts and completion of an English writing assignment.
Research Limitations/Implications – The findings were brief vignettes of effective instruction in bilingual settings that employed the GRR model. Although the authors discussed the limitations of scripted instruction, they did not test it. Additional research needs to investigate how other teacher educators and teachers use the GRR model to develop and implement instructional innovations that tap into the unique language practices of bilingual students.
Practical Implications – The empirical examples should help other teacher educators and bilingual teachers to implement the GRR model to support the improved literacy instruction of bilingual students in grades one through four. The chapter defines linguistically responsive instruction, and shows how translanguaging can be used by bilingual teachers and students to improve the students’ literacy performance.
Originality/Value of Chapter – This chapter provides significant research-based examples of the use of the GRR model with bilingual teachers and students at the elementary level. It shows how employment of the model can provide bilingual teachers and students with the support needed to implement instructional literacy innovations and linguistically responsive instruction.