This practitioner research study explores what happens when students in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program are engaged in a clinical experience at an urban pre-K-8th-grade school with a majority English Learner (EL) population. Specifically examined is preservice teachers’ confidence in implementing strategies to meet the needs of ELs in beginning reading. Data sources included: a survey, a written reflection, weekly lessons plans, blog entries, and informal observations of small group instruction and class participation. Qualitative analysis (Charmaz, 2000, 2003, 2005) was used. Results from this study point to the need for teacher preparation programs to support teacher candidates in working with ELs in clinical settings. This research has also informed the authors’ teaching of this clinical course in addition to the design and implementation of a new course aimed at preparing teacher candidates to work with ELs in mainstream classrooms.

Author Biography

Christina M. Pavlak, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching Program at Quinnipiac University, who studies literacy education for English learners. Monica Cavender, Ed.D is an Assistant Professor in the Master of Arts in Teaching Program at Quinnipiac University, who studies early literacy strategies and pre-service teacher self-efficacy.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.