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 journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

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
Externally publishedYes

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

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