Feedback From the Field: What Novice PreK-12 ESL Teachers Want to Tell TESOL Teacher Educators

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Baecher, Laura
TESOL Quarterly
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Acquisition Number
Published Date
01-12-2015 2:55 PM
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Programs in the United States that certify PreK-12 teachers in English as a second language (ESL) must meet high and consistent standards in their preservice preparation. However, there is little empirical evidence on the degree to which such preparation actually meets the needs of teachers once they begin their careers. Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) programs that do not collect data on graduates have limited information about how graduates are faring in their induction years. This lack of data may prevent TESOL programs from effectively preparing teacher candidates to work with English language learners. Knowledge of actual working conditions and challenges faced by practicing teachers is essential to program self-study and appropriate teacher preparation. This article reports on 77 graduates of one MA TESOL program offering PreK-12 state certification in ESL who have taught in public schools for 1-4 years. Using online surveys, interviews, site visits, questionnaires, and a focus group, this research investigated the work these teachers engaged in, the challenges they encountered, and how the MA TESOL program did or did not support the demands of their work. The purpose was to identify areas of mismatch between program preparation and current workplace demands, both to provide immediate feedback to the program and to generalize about the need for MA TESOL programs to identify the types of demands their graduates may be encountering in U.S. schools.
Teacher Qualifications and Certification
Professional Development
Preservice Teacher Preparation