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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 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.
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.
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 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.
This chapter investigates the impact of a teacher preparation program that includes specific attention to the needs of bilingual learners on participants’ subsequent…
This chapter investigates the impact of a teacher preparation program that includes specific attention to the needs of bilingual learners on participants’ subsequent teaching practices. Specifically, this mixed methods retrospective study examines graduates’ reports of their current teaching practices as well as their perceptions of the Teaching English Language Learners (TELL) program’s impact on these practices. Multiple-choice survey data were analyzed quantitatively to identify trends among reported practices and perceptions. Open-ended survey and interview data were analyzed qualitatively to identify interrelated themes within teachers’ detailed, first-hand accounts of their pre-service and in-service experiences. The results showed that there was variety with respect to whether particular linguistically responsive practices were routine, used occasionally, or rarely. There was also a difference with respect to whether such practices were perceived to be the result of having participated in the program. Notably, the most frequently used practices attributed to the TELL program involved teaching language (TL) to facilitate content learning. Other aspects of the teacher preparation program supported effective practices for academic content learning, but only TELL coursework and experiences facilitated practices that emphasized academic language development. These results suggest that programs created to improve the preparation of teachers to work with bilingual learners in mainstream classroom contexts must make a special effort to develop teachers’ skills in regard to language teaching, especially practices that focus on language beyond the word-level. There are limitations to the study because of the small number of participants and the fact that they were self-selected as program participants.
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.
In consideration of the needs of the growing numbers of Spanish-speaking emergent bilingual students in U.S. classrooms who are learning English as a new language, this…
In consideration of the needs of the growing numbers of Spanish-speaking emergent bilingual students in U.S. classrooms who are learning English as a new language, this study explores the teachers’ understanding of instructional practice using a specific pedagogical framework designed for emergent bilingual classroom contexts called Preview/View/Review (P/V/R). A constructivist and a translanguaging lens informed the theoretical framework for this study. One set of qualitative data from interviews was collected from a random sample of teachers who participated in a Master’s program in bilingual education in a border university in South Texas. Interview questions focused on the teachers’ reflections on the planning for and the implementation of the pedagogical structure P/V/R in their dual language contexts. Three findings arose from the data: (a) participants demonstrated an understanding of planning for and implementation of the P/V/R structure as a scaffold to build background knowledge of new concepts in the different disciplines; (b) the P/V/R structure has the potential to facilitate cross-linguistic transfer and the potential to be implemented as a form of translanguaging pedagogy; and (c) the implementation of a well-planned P/V/R structure enhances students’ engagement with the learning in two languages. One identifiable limitation of the study is the small size of the sample. In addition, classroom observations of the implementation of the structure are needed to mitigate the possible over-reporting of P/V/R as a good practice on the part of the teachers. Insights from this study inform teacher educators in teacher preparation programs who are preparing teachers for working with emergent bilingual learners and the professional development of all teachers, including those who teach in bilingual school contexts.
In an effort to better prepare pre-service candidates to work with all students and to respond to the current collaborative team teaching trend within New York City public…
In an effort to better prepare pre-service candidates to work with all students and to respond to the current collaborative team teaching trend within New York City public schools, the authors who are professors of bilingual education and inclusive education/disability studies, respectively, combined their student teaching seminars in bilingual education and childhood education, in order to: (1) provide a model of co-teaching as well as an experience and perspective of being a student in a classroom with two teachers; (2) provide pre-service candidates with ongoing access to the expertise of two professors during their student teaching experience; (3) engage pre-service teachers in critical conversations about identifying and resisting deficit constructions of both emergent bilingual students and students with disabilities; (4) engage in a self-study of teaching practice within this collaborative context; (5) consider how well our respective programs currently prepare pre-service teachers. The Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices approach gleaned data from the co-instructors’ weekly reflective journals and student evaluations to reveal multiple benefits of a collaborative classroom context for pre-service teachers as well as the professors. These benefits included a rethinking of academic structures, spaces for interconnectedness across fields, and increased professor and student learning. The findings challenge teacher educators to consider whether or not a traditional approach to teacher preparation truly offers pre-service teachers the tools to serve diverse students. The authors call on schools of education to transgress traditional academic boundaries to adequately prepare pre-service teachers for the 21st century classroom.
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.