Tackling a Tough Task: Teaching Today’s Teachers to Teach English Learners

Kathleen Ramos
George Mason University

There is a critical need in the United States to understand how to best prepare preservice teachers for effectively teaching the steadily growing number of PK-12 English learners. The study described in this article, situated in a teacher preparation program in a small, private college in a largely monolingual, monocultural area of the northeastern United States, expands the extant research around this urgent conversation. Specifically, the effects of a set of research-based learning experiences on the readiness of 18 White preservice teachers to create culturally responsive teaching and learning environments for English learners were investigated. Results suggest that carefully constructed learning experiences can positively affect future educators’ preparation for teaching English learners, even in largely monocultural, monolingual geographical areas. Outcomes will interest teacher educators in homogeneous areas who strive to prepare future educators for teaching culturally and linguistically diverse school-age learners in principled ways in countries with growing numbers of children who speak other languages.

Copyright © 2018, International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education