Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education


International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

Rosa Jimenez

Second Advisor

Emma Fuentes

Third Advisor

Ursula Aldana


The following qualitative study provides a theoretical analysis of teachers’ experiences and interactions at a progressive Mandarin immersion school. Missing from the current literature based on immersion education are the narratives of teachers, specifically international teachers from diverse teaching backgrounds in foreign language settings. An integration of Mandarin and a progressive framework is unique and therefore illuminating their voices is vital to the field of education specifically as they contribute to the growth of prospective mandarin immersion schools in the US. This study included fifteen participants who identified the ways in which their own personal reflections as pedagogues changed over time. This research is an examination of teachers within an immersion context, specifically the dynamics between international teachers from China and the American English teaching specialists at a Chinese Immersion school (CIM). The study itself was composed of two focus groups, semi-structured interviews, analysis of weekly newsletters, and teacher files to identify and discern each individual story. I analyzed the data, which highlighted any shift in teaching philosophies, teaching practices, pedagogy, community strengths, and challenges, along with personal growth throughout this process. The results of this study demonstrated that the participants were able to provide examples and strategies to navigate a complex progressive and dual language environment. The teachers described approaches to dimensions of mentorship including peripheral mentorship (environmental proximity), relevant experimental apprenticeship to design thinking, and flexibility in multicultural spaces, including a bicultural growth mindset. This study presents a group of teachers who evolved through the challenges of limited resources and created strong community ties to initiate change in an immersion language setting.

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