Bilingual Education: Teachers' Narratives

Bilingual Education: Teachers' Narratives

Bilingual Education: Teachers' Narratives

Bilingual Education: Teachers' Narratives

Synopsis

This book grew out of the joys and challenges the author experienced as a Spanish/English bilingual teacher of culturally and linguistically diverse students. It tells what it is like to be a bilingual teacher. As a result, it helps other teachers and prospective teachers understand the complex nature of bilingual teaching, shares some successful teaching strategies that other teachers have used, and encourages teachers to find their own solutions despite limited support.

The book is structured in three parts. The introduction explains how the book evolved, defines its relation to other qualitative research, and offers suggestions for how to use the book. The second part consists of eight bilingual teachers' stories that provide a glimpse of them as people, their schools and programs, their successes and struggles, and their solutions and coping mechanisms within their contexts. It concludes with a discussion chapter that looks at the teachers' collective strengths and struggles comparatively, connecting these to broader issues. The final section presents bilingual education resources -- useful information for practitioners. This includes foundation texts on the theories and practices of bilingual education, demographic information, a glossary of bilingual education terms, listings of curricula, tests, and literature mentioned by the teachers, and professional network sources.

Excerpt

This book grows out of the joys and challenges I experienced as a Spanish -- English bilingual teacher of culturally and linguistically diverse students. In the mid-1980s, as a bilingual education graduate student, I wanted to find out what other teachers had experienced and how they made sense of bilingual teaching. I found little research on bilingual teachers' experiences. Bilingual teachers and their stories have been my major area of interest since I started graduate school. My goals in writing this book are to tell what it is like to be a bilingual teacher, to help other (and prospective) teachers understand the complex nature of bilingual teaching, to share some successful teaching strategies that other teachers have used, and to encourage teachers to find their own solutions despite limited support.

What is special about this book are the different stories told by eight teachers. I hope others will be able to relate to the experiences of these teachers; experiences that will help them reflect on their own situations. Because no other book focuses on bilingual teachers in this manner, it serves to inform preservice and veteran teachers about the field of bilingual education on a very personal level.

The book is structured in three parts. Part I, the Introduction, contains (a) an explanation of how the book evolved and its relation to other qualitative research, (b) a very brief context about bilingual education, and (c) suggestions for how to use the book. Part II begins with eight bilingual teachers' stories, giving a glimpse of them as people and presenting their schools and programs, their successes and struggles, and their solutions and coping mechanisms within those contexts. Part II concludes with a discussion chapter that looks at the teachers' collective strengths and challenges comparatively, connecting these to broader issues. The teachers' stories are also revisited in an epilogue (chapter 13). Part III, "Bilingual Education Resources," consists of useful information for the practitioner, including foundation texts on the theories and practices of bilingual education; demographic information; listings of curricula, tests, and literature mentioned by the teachers; and professional network sources.

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