Language ideologies of Arizona preschool teachers implementing dual language teaching for the first time: pro-multilingual beliefs, practical concerns

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Abstract

This mixed-methods study examines the language ideologies of 28 preschool educators in their first month transitioning from English-only to dual language education (DLE). Using the language ideology survey developed by [Fitzsimmons-Doolan, S. (2011). “Language ideology dimensions of politically active Arizona voters: an exploratory study.” Language Awareness 20 (4): 295–314; Fitzsimmons-Doolan, S. (2014). “Language ideologies of Arizona voters, language managers, and teachers.” Journal of Language, Identity, and Education 13 (1): 34–52], we analyzed the preschool teachers’ language ideologies, as well as the relationships between the ideologies and demographic and experiential variables. We found that teachers generally held pro-multilingual ideologies, but that particular ideologies correlated with different teacher experiences. For instance, while teachers’ level of education and having studied a language other than English were positive correlates of pro-multilingual beliefs, years of teaching overall was instead positively associated with viewing English as a tool and years at the current placement was positively related to viewing multiple languages as a problem. Neither general teaching experience nor experience having a home language other than English was a significant predictor of pro-multilingual beliefs. Qualitative analysis of transcripts from teacher focus groups reflected teachers’ pro-multilingual beliefs, but also showed teachers’ concerns with DLE implementation. We found, however, that these concerns were practical – balancing district priorities; managing new divisions of labor in the classroom – rather than ideological. Our findings highlight the theoretical and methodological importance of viewing teachers’ experiences, ideologies, and classroom language policies as connected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - May 24 2018

Fingerprint

Ideologies
Teaching
teacher
language
language education
experience
Language Teaching
Language Ideology
Dual Language
ideology
classroom
language policy
division of labor
level of education
Language
Ideology
district
educator
manager

Keywords

  • Arizona
  • dual language education
  • early childhood education
  • Language ideologies
  • language policy and planning
  • teacher experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

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title = "Language ideologies of Arizona preschool teachers implementing dual language teaching for the first time: pro-multilingual beliefs, practical concerns",
abstract = "This mixed-methods study examines the language ideologies of 28 preschool educators in their first month transitioning from English-only to dual language education (DLE). Using the language ideology survey developed by [Fitzsimmons-Doolan, S. (2011). “Language ideology dimensions of politically active Arizona voters: an exploratory study.” Language Awareness 20 (4): 295–314; Fitzsimmons-Doolan, S. (2014). “Language ideologies of Arizona voters, language managers, and teachers.” Journal of Language, Identity, and Education 13 (1): 34–52], we analyzed the preschool teachers’ language ideologies, as well as the relationships between the ideologies and demographic and experiential variables. We found that teachers generally held pro-multilingual ideologies, but that particular ideologies correlated with different teacher experiences. For instance, while teachers’ level of education and having studied a language other than English were positive correlates of pro-multilingual beliefs, years of teaching overall was instead positively associated with viewing English as a tool and years at the current placement was positively related to viewing multiple languages as a problem. Neither general teaching experience nor experience having a home language other than English was a significant predictor of pro-multilingual beliefs. Qualitative analysis of transcripts from teacher focus groups reflected teachers’ pro-multilingual beliefs, but also showed teachers’ concerns with DLE implementation. We found, however, that these concerns were practical – balancing district priorities; managing new divisions of labor in the classroom – rather than ideological. Our findings highlight the theoretical and methodological importance of viewing teachers’ experiences, ideologies, and classroom language policies as connected.",
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