Date of Graduation

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department/Program

International and Multicultural Education

First Advisor

Emma Fuentes

Second Advisor

Suzan Katz

Third Advisor

Patrick Camangian

Abstract

The increased percentage of immigrant children in the public school system in the United States has challenged schools to provide adequate academic language instruction to reach the same levels as their monolingual peers. Teachers must demonstrate the ability to support the development of academic language in accordance to both the standards' requirements and the linguistic needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students. It is very important to shed light on teacher preparation programs and how they support their candidates to develop a pedagogy that can best respond to students' needs. This study explore the beliefs and practices of preservice teachers as they plan and implement curriculum for academic language development.

This study took place at an elementary school in the San Francisco Bay. The participants were five student-teachers in their final semester of practicum at this school and in the Multiple Subject credential program at a university in the same area. The supervisor and researcher collected the results of the academic language survey, questionnaires and lesson plans. She transcribed observations of the participants' teaching practices, debriefing sessions and the conversations with the participants.

Four themes emerged from the data: interaction as a tool to deepen learning, bridging students' home and school experiences, teacher facilitation, multimodality: using multiple modes to make meaning; additional factors influencing teaching. The participants demonstrated an ability to navigate the third space classroom by implementing their beliefs about teaching and learning academic language and by adapting to their students' learning needs, and planning according to the expectations of the institution.

This study ended with several recommendations for credentialing programs to best support their candidates in teaching academic language in the diverse classroom. The study brought to light the importance of a strong field experience in a third space bilingual, bicultural, and economically disadvantaged school context. Such a context has revealed to be a strong prediction of preservice teachers' success in negotiating their identity of academic language teachers.

Comments

Additional Advisor: MaryAnn Nickel

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