Academic journal article Teacher Education Quarterly

Preparing the "Linguistically Qualified" Bilingual Teacher: Self/Auto Ethnographies of Bilingual Teacher Educators

Academic journal article Teacher Education Quarterly

Preparing the "Linguistically Qualified" Bilingual Teacher: Self/Auto Ethnographies of Bilingual Teacher Educators

Article excerpt

For emergent bilingual students, academic success is predicated on access to rigorous, enrichment-based instruction in more than one language (Thomas & Collier, 2002). All children deserve a dynamic, high-quality education that nurtures their academic achievement. This is especially important for children from minoritized groups, whose academic success can lag behind their white, English-dominant, middle-class peers due to subtractive, less rigorous learning experiences and expectations (Adair, Sanchez-Suzuki Colegrove, & McManus, 2017; Valenzuela, 1999).

Language use is at the very core of teaching and learning as it mediates both activities (Vygotsky, 1962) and is central to the academic well being of the learner. In bilingual classrooms this axiom takes on even greater import as teachers and learners perform functional-active language tasks within, across, and between named linguistic systems and as a natural matter of course and program design. Consequently, and as the field has long understood, bilingual education teachers are agents of language socialization (Adger, Snow, & Christian, 2002) who, in in order to build on the language and literacy strengths of their bilingual students (Zentella, 2005), must be able to facilitate learning by leveraging complex multilingual repertoires employing both additive and dynamic/active language pedagogies (Garcia & Wei, 2014; Cummins, 2017). Unfortunately, even after nearly five decades of preparing bilingual education teachers, research shows that these school actors often feel unprepared to meet the content-area linguistic demands of the bilingual classroom, especially in the minoritized or heritage language, even when they themselves are heritage language speakers (Ek, Sanchez, & Cerecer, 2013; Guerrero, 2003; Guerrero & Guerrero, 2017). These dynamics can have implications for how bilingual teachers take on multiple roles and enact their agency in implementing language policies at micro levels to support or preclude bilingual opportunities for bilingual learners (Varghese, 2004; Zuniga, Henderson, & Palmer, 2018).

In light of this context, this volume is the first in a series of three special issues dedicated to engaging and expanding the critical conversation related to matters of language, linguistic diversity (e.g. Spanish and multilingual competencies and identities), and language activism and advocacy in U.S. bilingual teacher education. As this first issue in the special issues trilogy, Preparing the "Linguistically Qualified" Bilingual Teacher: Self/Auto Ethnographies of Bilingual Teacher Educators, suggests a way of critically engaging this work by examining bilingual/ESL and language teacher education faculty's own language trajectories as bi-multi-lingual subjects, former doctoral students, and/or faculty responsible for preparing future PK-12 bilingual teachers. The auto-ethnographic accounts comprising the volume engage the personal to interpret and make sense of the often complex and contradictory macro-level contexts within which bilingual teacher education is embedded and practiced. The varied life histories and academic/professional trajectories presented serve to question and to provide multiperspectival accounts of what it means to be (or to perform/enact) the "linguistically qualified" bilingual teacher educator in higher education programs in the U.S. As a result of the multiple analyses conducted, authors identify a myriad of implications for the preparation of critically and linguistically conscious PK-12 bilingual teachers, capable of orchestrating teaching and learning contexts that celebrate, affirm, and continue to develop students' linguistic repertoires within, across and between linguistic systems, varieties, and registers.

As a whole, this Summer 2019 issue critically engages the concept of "linguistically qualified" to better understand it's multiple meanings within the culturally, socially, and linguistically contested context of bilingual/ESL teacher education in the U. …

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