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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.
In this qualitative study, we explore 31 preservice teachers’ generative trajectories including how they built on instructional practices learned in the service-learning…
In this qualitative study, we explore 31 preservice teachers’ generative trajectories including how they built on instructional practices learned in the service-learning project, the university methods course, and the field-based experience. We addressed the question: In what ways does participating in a semester-long field-based university course combined with a service-learning program shape preservice teachers’ views about effective literacy practices for emergent bilinguals? We identified four themes in our analysis: importance of choice in literacy pedagogy; learning from and with our students; freedom to apply course methods and ideas; and growing confidence and align them with Ball’s (2009) generative change model and the four processes of change – metacognitive awareness, ideological becoming, internalization, and efficacy.
We found the preservice teachers’ ability to develop an awareness of diversity grew from their work with students both in their field-block experience and writing club. These opportunities provided them with a layering of learning – from course readings, collaborating with teachers, to problem solving and creating lessons that specifically met their students’ needs. By moving in and out of different contexts, preservice teachers developed generative knowledge about ways to support writing for emergent bilinguals. Likewise, they became keenly aware of their own experiences and beliefs. Implications include the importance of providing a variety of opportunities for preservice teachers to work directly with students. This should be accompanied by written and verbal discussions to examine and critique their experiences and ideologies in relation to students’ language and literacy needs.
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 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 chapter examines how the author, a teacher educator, uses self-study to reframe and reconceptualize her teaching of Emirati preservice teachers. The author describes…
This chapter examines how the author, a teacher educator, uses self-study to reframe and reconceptualize her teaching of Emirati preservice teachers. The author describes how conducting self-study helped her shift from using monolingual approaches to teaching Emirati preservice teachers and a focus on improving their English language proficiency, to affirming their bilingual identities, and becoming more culturally responsive. Initially, the researcher posed the question, “how do I frame and reframe my teaching to support the English language learning of my Emirati preservice teachers?” then progressed to asking and answering the question “how can I affirm the bilingual identities of my Emirati preservice teachers and support their English language proficiency?”
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.
The purpose of this paper is to report on a collaborative project and study implemented by two teacher educators in an elementary education program. To prepare teacher…
The purpose of this paper is to report on a collaborative project and study implemented by two teacher educators in an elementary education program. To prepare teacher candidates for field experiences and practicum in a diverse (bilingual) urban school, the program uses coursework to impart asset-based pedagogies and practices.
In this mixed-method case study, this paper examined the awareness and perspectives of preservice teachers (n = 26) to cultural and linguistic diversity and relevant teaching and learning practices. In particular, this study gauged their engagement with multicultural children’s literature in a collaborative interclass activity. The data sources included beginning and end of semester survey responses, notes on participant interactions during the mid-semester collaborative interclass activity and participant retrospective reflections about the activity.
This paper found that teacher candidates showed increased awareness and positive shifts in perspectives. This study also ascertaind that, in learning to become culturally (and linguistically) responsive and sustaining teachers, they benefited from collaborative peer work that focused on learning about multicultural children’s literature, analyzing it and planning to integrate it into their classrooms.
Studies show that culturally relevant literature in schools is beneficial; however, teacher candidates often lack knowledge of such literature and how to use it. This need is especially critical and relevant when learning about and implementing culturally relevant and sustaining practices. The collaborative undertaking discussed in this study fills this gap through co-teaching and interclass activity that brings preservice teachers as a cohort to collaboratively learn about, discuss, reflect on and plan lessons as they prepare to work with students from different backgrounds than their own.
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.