"We Can Be Bilingual Rather than an English Learner": Transnational Teachers Developing Strength-Based, Language-Focused Pedagogy

Publication Date

Spring 1-1-2022

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Publication Title

Teacher Education Quarterly





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Transnational educators can be a tremendous resource for bi/multilingual students, but teacher preparation has not adequately supported their pedagogical development for teaching writing to bi/multilinguals in U.S. contexts. Using three cases from a qualitative self-study, we explore the narratives of three transnational teachers in a biliteracy development course and how a transliteracy practice shaped their understanding of language-focused writing pedagogy. Transliteracy is an innovative approach that applies a bilingual lens to student observation, teaching, and reflection. Data included coursework and interviews and were analyzed iteratively. Findings reveal that participants developed knowledge of language as a system, language as practice, and language as identity; the integration of this knowledge supported strength-based, language-focused pedagogy. Approaches that develop understanding of language through practice, like transliteracy, respond to a call to prepare educators with robust pedagogies that debunk deficit norms, embrace bi/multilingualism, and can support transnational teachers in their transition to teaching in the United States.


Second Language Learning, Bilingual Teachers, Teacher Education Programs, Writing Instruction, Bilingualism, Multilingualism, Second Language Instruction, Literacy Education, Teacher Attitudes, Faculty Development, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Self Concept, Teaching Methods, Teacher Characteristics, Foreign Nationals, Spanish Speaking, English (Second Language), Spanish, Occupational Mobility, English Language Learners, Language Usage


Teacher Education