Graduates' reports of advocating for English language learners

  • De Oliveira L
  • Athanases S
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Abstract

Beginning teachers, who graduated from a credential program focused on preparing advocates for equity and with attention to teaching English language learners (ELLs), had reported in surveys being well prepared to teach ELLs and promote equity. Focus groups illuminated teachers' reports of ways they advocated for ELLs. Reported classroom acts included creating and maintaining safe environments for English language use and development, differentiating instruction and designing interventions for ELLs, and responding to sociopolitical issues related to race, language, and class. Reported advocacy beyond the classroom included seeing inequity and addressing it with lunchtime and after-school tutorials and clubs, and with family contacts and home visits. Sometimes, such advocacy also included critiquing institutional practices or policy, and proposing or building alternatives. Three cases illustrate accounts of school challenges in meeting needs of ELLs, and document possibilities for how advocacy for ELLs, even in the first years of teaching, can be pursued.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Advocacy
  • English language learners
  • New teachers
  • Teacher education

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Authors

  • Luciana C. De Oliveira

  • Steven Z. Athanases

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