Higher educational institutions in the US witnessed a growing number of international students on campus. This group of students brought with them diverse linguistic, cultural backgrounds that are distinct from the mainstream American teacher candidates. Inherently, it poses challenges to the teacher education programs in the US how to best prepare them to be day-1 ready classroom teachers. Their status as international students prevent them from engaging in field-based experiences. It is necessary, then, for faculty to create experiences for international teacher candidates that support the development of the knowledge and skills for their future roles. The case study examined how an international pre-service teacher from China enrolled in a graduate-level literacy and technology course that aimed to develop the pedagogical and technological knowledge, negotiated her cultural identity in a Caucasian-dominated classroom through coursework and how she used innovative digital tools to support her future ELL students in language and literacy learning. The course artifacts of blog posts, digital storytelling product, unit plan, end-of-course reflections in addition to interview data were analyzed. Results showed that 1) the opportunities of exploring and using technological tools allowed international students’ expression of their cultural and sociocultural perspective using culturally-specific images, sound, and language; 2) the course’s scaffold and hands-on nature of project-based learning effectively supported international students to develop the knowledge and skills for their future roles by preparing them to create similar opportunities for their students.
Huijing Wen, Moravian College, United States
Valerie Shinas, Lesley University, United States
Stream: International Education
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