How Preservice Teachers’ Study Abroad Experiences Lead to Changes in Their Perceptions of English Language Learners
Keywords:Study Abroad, Preservice Teacher Education, English Language Learners, Perceptions, Education abroad
This qualitative study examined 16 preservice teachers’ (PSTs) perceptions of “others” before 2 months in Germany, compared perceptions upon return, and attributed shifts to experiences abroad. Data sources were surveys, interviews, and reflections. Transformation theory served as the theoretical lens. PSTs’ pre-travel experiences related to not fitting in, cultural differences, and gender. Abroad, PSTs faced cultural differences and questioned their culture. Perceptual changes centered around language and culture. Changes were based on empathy, advocacy, and an understanding of ELLs. Implications offered are for interpreting experiences in light of teaching, benefits of faculty-led programs, and the use of study abroad to experience otherness.
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