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English language -- Study and teaching -- United States -- Foreign speakers


Preservice teachers enter their preparation programs with multiple years of experience in schools as k-12 students. Past schooling experiences, or their ‘apprenticeship of observation’ (Lortie, 1975), often shape preservice teachers’ understandings of schools, teaching, and learning. Teacher preparation programs must address these experiences and related preconceptions when preparing preservice teachers to work with students, specifically diverse student populations (Hammerness et al., 2005). While the majority of the teaching force remains White, female, and monolingual English speaking, the scholarly community has begun to focus on the preparation of diverse preservice teachers (e.g., Tsui, 2007). This study focuses on one such a group of preservice teachers, i.e, linguistically diverse preservice teachers who were identified as English Learners during their own k-12 schooling days.

This narrative-based study explored preservice teachers own experiences as English Learners in k-12 schools and the shaping force these experiences had on their current thinking about teaching linguistically diverse students. While these remembered events were often deleterious, they also had powerful implications for the preservice teachers’ understandings about the current schooling situations of English Learners. Moreover, these past experiences as k-12 English Learners and preservice teachers’ current field-based observations in classrooms shaped novice teachers’ views about the responsibilities that they, as future mainstream classroom teachers, have when working with English Learners.


Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.

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