Faculty Publications

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Publication Date

February 2018

Publication Title

Language and Education



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Bilingual teachers, teacher preparation, language ideology, bilingual education, heritage language speakers


Language and Literacy Education


This qualitative study explored Spanish-speaking teacher credential students’ beliefs about academic language that might promote or inhibit their decision to become bilingual teachers. Data includes interviews with 11 bilingual teacher candidates who were heritage Spanish speakers. Findings show that most were only aware of English-only educational contexts and did not know that bilingual teaching and the bilingual authorization pathway were options. Their schooling experience fostered English hegemony; even their Spanish classes were pervaded by linguistic purism and elitism. Schools taught them that their registers of Spanish, which they learned at home, were insufficient, inappropriate or incorrect. Consequently, they questioned their ability to become bilingual teachers. Language register and social class were intimately connected in the data. Participants viewed bilingual education as a pathway toward more equitable educational opportunities for Latinx students. Implications include the need for bilingual teacher preparation to address critical sociolinguistics concepts that explore the relationships between language, race and ethnicity in education. Future research is needed to explore how heritage Spanish speaking bilingual teachers enact their beliefs about equity through bilingual education, the challenges they face, and the ways that teacher education programs and professional development providers could support their work.


This is the preprint version of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Language and Education on 2/6/18, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2018.1429464.