Preparing Teacher Candidates to work with Language Learners: Innovations in a Literacy Methods Course

Marsha Riddle Buly Buly, Tracy Coskie


Classrooms across the United States are becoming and will continue to be more linguistically diverse. Changing demographics require teacher education programs to more effectively prepare teacher candidates to work with linguistically diverse students. In this article, two teacher education professors share the changes they are making to a required literacy methods and field experience course to better prepare their candidates. Including a focus on explicit mini-lessons with an alignment to the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) provides a manageable way for future mainstream teachers to consciously include sheltered instruction techniques.  As a result of the course teacher candidates demonstrated a greater understanding of the explicit mini-lesson framework and some increase in the range of language learner support strategies they incorporated into their planning. Candidates’ increased sense of efficacy for supporting language learners suggests coursework revision as a workable approach to preparing future teachers for the changing demographics in our schools.

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