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

Katie A. Bernstein, Sultan Kilinc, Megan Troxel Deeg, Scott C. Marley, Kathleen M. Farrand, Michael F. Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


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)457-480
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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