Supporting Novice Dual-Language Teachers in the US Midwest

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This is a qualitative case study of a group of novice dual-language teachers in a state of the Midwestern region of the United States. The research study explores the educational strengths and needs of these teachers and investigates how a professional development initiative implemented in partnership with the school district and a local university helped to support these practicing teachers. The participants were mostly Latina in-service teachers, first generation in college, Spanish-English bilingual, and had been working in their current dual-language teaching positions from one to three years. The study’s findings demonstrated that the participating novice dual-language teachers had various levels of Spanish and English language skills, advocacy beliefs, and pedagogical knowledge. The study’s findings further showed that these novice teachers considered that their strengths were developed and needs were met, to some degree, through the professional development initiative. The study ends with recommendations for institutions of higher education, in particular for dual-language teacher preparation programs, and future interdisciplinary research.