Developing Teachers' Advocacy Skills for Multilingual Learners: An Examination of Advocacy in Simulated Environments and School Settings

Author: ORCID icon
Fox, William, Education - School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
Youngs, Peter, University of Virginia
Salerno, April, University of Virginia
Chang-Bacon, Chris, University of Virginia
Cohen, Julie, CU-Curr Instr & Sp Ed, University of Virginia

This dissertation is a researcher-practitioner response to questions related to the development of multilingual learner (ML) advocacy skills in teacher education settings, as well as questions related to the socially mediated discourse of ML advocacy that evolves over time and within situated learning settings. To advance the agenda of examining the discourse of ML advocacy, as well as how it unfolds in teaching settings, I conducted three studies. In manuscript #1, Dr. April Salerno and I described a simulator role-play assignment in which ML endorsement candidates (ECs) engaged in the work of an ML advocate in a conversation with a simulated general education teacher (in the form of an avatar) who expressed deficit views about an ML and his family. We then examined the discursive practices of three in-service ECs as they separately advocated for the ML. In manuscript #2, I conducted a follow-up study with 15 in-service educators who participated in UVa’s ML programs and the ESL Advocacy Simulation, and I examined whether/how they engaged in advocacy in their current settings and what prepared them to do so. In manuscript #3, I described a second simulator role-play in which ECs analyzed an ML writing sample and engaged in a conversation with a writing teacher (in the form of an avatar) who was using deficit-oriented language to talk about the ML and her writing. I examined how 23 ECs advocated for the ML, and I illustrated three approaches to advocacy with three focal case-study ECs. These papers contribute to teacher education by presenting cutting-edge technology used to develop rehearsal spaces for ECs to engage in practice and reflection on advocacy skills and discursive choices. From a research perspective, instructional designs such as simulated interactions that focus on dialogic practices present a rich context for examining discourse. As a result, these papers offer novel approaches to teacher training and the analysis of advocacy discourse.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
advocacy, simulated learning, discourse, ESL, multilingual learners, teacher education
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