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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.
This study, carried out in the bilingual and bicultural border area of South Texas, is an exploration of bilingual preservice teachers’ identity formation and their…
This study, carried out in the bilingual and bicultural border area of South Texas, is an exploration of bilingual preservice teachers’ identity formation and their experiences and beliefs about literacy and biliteracy during an undergraduate class focused on learning about emergent literacy in the bilingual classroom. This study is based on a sociocultural approach to learning and identity development, and research that explores how bilingual teachers’ identity is shaped through their participation in cultural and linguistic practices. The purpose of this practitioner research is to provide insights into preservice teachers’ identities as they start to explore literacy and biliteracy practices. Two research questions guide the study: What experiences about literacy and biliteracy development do prospective teachers identify as meaningful? How do these experiences contribute to define bilingual preservice teachers’ identities? Findings indicate that bilingual preservice teachers’ identities are shaped by cultural and linguistic experiences that define the bilingual and bicultural dynamics of the region. Two predominant types of experiences impact bilingual preservice teachers’ beliefs about teaching, learning, and literacy/biliteracy development. Particularly significant in defining their perceptions are the lessons learned from meaningful others – especially mothers and teachers – and certain relevant memories regarding effective practices they experienced when learning to read and write. Implications for teacher education preparation of bilingual teachers are identified.