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Motivation, Self-efficacy аnd Teacher Identity of ESL and Bilingual Preservice Teachers

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Published: 10th Dec 2019

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Motivation, Self-efficacy аnd Teacher Identity of ESL (English as Second Language)/Bilingual Preservice Teachers


This review contends that multiple factors mediate students’ pursuit of the teaching profession, including motivation, self-efficacy, and identity. Despite the myriad literature addressing teacher preparation, less is know about how motivation and self-efficacy influence the academic or personal identity development of teacher candidates preparing to teach in ESL/bilingual classrooms. This review discussed the definition of three terms of motivation, self-efficacy and identity; theoretical framework; connection among these three terms; recognition of teacher identity; the implication of ESL/bilingual teacher preparation program; and proposed of the future research directions in this field.

     Keywords:motivation, self-efficacy, teacher’s identity, ESL, bilingual, preservice teacher

In the present review, I will address the motivation, self-efficacy and teacher identity of ESL (English as Second Language)/bilingual preservice teachers, especially in Spanish- and Chinese- speaking teacher candidates. For nearly 20 years, scholars have reported the impact of motivation and self-efficacy on teacher preparation (Armaline & Hoover, 1989). During the process of preparation, the construction and reconstruction of teacher candidates’ identity and belief systems are very important to the preservice teachers to grow up. Taylor and Wasicsko (2000) state, “there is a significant body of research indicating that teachers’ attitudes, values, and beliefs about students, about teaching, and about themselves, strongly influence the impact they will have on student learning and development” (p.2). Examing teacher candidates’ identity and epistemological beliefs about learning are vital in understanding their approaches to teaching (Flores, 2001). However, not all researchers use motivation and self-efficacy to examine candidates’ identity and belief systems. Studies on teachers and candidates examine isolated concepts such as: attitudes, motivation, self-efficacy, dispositions, beliefs (Flores, 2001; Karabenick & Clemens-Noda, 2004), and values as individual phenomena rather than as interconnected and mutually influencing notions.

I will begin this review with the definition of three variables, such as motivation, self-efficacy, and teacher identity, which is critical to carry out studies of ESL/bilingual preservice teacher preparation. Clarifying these terms would help us to establish a framework on ESL/bilingual education, and investigate the effective bilingual education teacher preparation that develops teacher candidates’ strategies for preparing culturally efficacious teachers who can impact students’ linguistic, cultural, cognitive development, and academic achievements. Also, I will discuss the structural categories of culturally efficacious identity. For example, the motivation of love for working with children; passion for a specific content area; the desire to give back to the community; commitment to make a difference in the lives of children; the degree of job security and benefits; general teaching efficacy, and personal teaching efficacy. The next section of recognizing the different identity, I will focus more on the three different and significant aspects of teacher identity, such as authentication/self-definition; dynamic nature of development and transformation of teacher identity, and the never-ending, ongoing nature of identity development and transformation. The fourth section will discuss the ESL/Bilingual education teacher preparation, including the culturally responsive teaching beliefs; personal efficacy and epistemology; enthusiasm for language and literacy learning; and ESL/Bilingual teacher preparation model. After the brief discussion, I will conclude this review with a summary and a proposal for directions for future research.

I have collected quite a few resources on this topic so far, I used ERIC (EBSCOhost) and Web of Science academic search engine with the keywords of “motivation, self-efficacy, teacher’s identity, ESL, bilingual, preservice teacher, etc”. Since it is not an easy job to find enough relevant data for the review and developed area, I have found most of the papers by the two influential researchers in this field: Belinda Bustos Flores and Ellen Riojas Clark. Dr. Flores is the chair and professor of the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies in the University of Texas at San Antonio. She published lots of relevant peer-viewed article, books, and presentation in this field, and also proposed the ASI SOY (Academic Self-Identity: Self-Observation Yearly) inventory to use in research on preservice teachers. Recently, Dr. Flores completed the study and that will be published in a book later this Spring or early summer. Dr. Clark emphasizes the social construction of teacher identity is at the core of preservice teachers’ beliefs about bilingual education, literacy instruction, and the role of culture in learning. From a sociocultural perspective, the development of teacher identity is an intersection of different experiences and social experience interactions within the self, the family, the community, and the school setting. The development and reconstruction of teacher identity begins before their teacher preparation program (Flores, Clark, & Guerra, 2008; Musanti & Pence, 2010; Varghese et al., 2005) and is influenced by the cultural, social, and historical context in which preservice teachers live (Smagorinsky et al., 2004).

In addition, I have found two books about preparing preservice teachers to work effectively with emergent bilinguals. This term of “emergent bilinguals” defined as students who are developing as young, dynamic bilinguals. The linguistic repertoire of these students taps into both languages as resources and students can be in developing stages of the native language and/or the second language. Ultimately, these students are on the path to balanced bilingualism. This term is used as a way to reject the deficit-oriented terminology of LEP, ELLs, or ESL students (Wiemelt & Welton, 2015). The only possible limitation is that very few studies on ESL/bilingual education have been done during preschool children, or Chinese-speaking children, so the ESL/bilingual teacher preparation discussed in the review will be more about school stage and Spanish-speaking ESL/bilingual student populations.

Defining Motivation, Self-efficacy and Teacher Identity

In this section, I will clarify what is motivation? What is self-efficacy? What is teacher identity? What is the definition of the preservice teacher? How to define the ESL (English as Second Language)/Bilingual education? Are there are common structural categories of teacher identity during the process of teacher education?

Identifying motivations associated with attraction, retention, and concentration may have important practical outcomes. For example, if it was possible to know a rang of factors that attract people to teach, then it could be possible for teachers to realize their teaching motivation and focus more on their profession passioned about. The literature suggests that variations in motivations to teach may exist between different groups of teacher aspirants, such as women (Allard, Bransgrove, Cooper, Duncan, & MacMillan, 1995), minority groups, those with differing levels of academic achievement (Hart & Murphy, 1990), those with different nationalities (Yong, 1995), and second-career teachers (Crow, Levine, & Nager, 1990). It is important to note that for the present study, age may also be a factor in differentiating between motivations to teach. Specifically, mature-aged preservice teachers, regardless of whether they are second-career teacher aspirants, may have substantially different motivations to teach than those coming to tertiary teacher education courses immediately from high school. This perspective is congruent with Zimpher’s (1989) meta-analysis of motivation-to-teach studies, which reported that motivation to enter teaching has changed across the decades.

Efficacy is an individual’s belief about ability and confidence towards a specific task. When learners experience academic success, their competence affirms self-efficacy. In the case of teachers, teaching efficacy is observable when they create learning environments that promote knowledge acquisition (Bandura, 1993). Flores and Clark (2004) explored the teaching efficacy of Latin@ normalista candidates. They observed that these candidates reported confidence that their teaching would impact students’ achievement; however, they believed that their efforts would be affected by external factors beyond their control. Bilingual candidate’s general teaching efficacy means were significantly higher, compared to their peers.

Teacher identity is an ongoing process of being and becoming a teacher (Britzman, 1991). In this process of constructing a teacher identity, teachers develop their particular ways of understanding and experiencing the world. Teachers’ perceptions of what learning is and how knowledge is constructed impact teachers’ sense of self. Understanding preservice teachers’ construction of their identity as future bilingual teachers involves ascertaining: “what is valued as truth or discarded as fiction, how one defines her relationship to the world and to others, …what is taken for granted in familiar and unfamiliar situations, and how one understands teaching and learning” (Britzman, 1991, p.24). In other words, teacher identity is a process to understand teachers themselves who they are, what they are doing, and where they will go. Also, teacher identity will benefit from the preservice teachers explore and discern their beliefs about how to use critical pedagogy to teach the student and what are effective teaching practice as their own teaching philosophy.

Language teacher identity is seen as dynamic, multifaceted, negotiated, and co-constructed, the processes of identity negotiation being highly individual, but also shaped by teachers’ socio-professional institutional environments (Duff & Uchida, 1997; Tsui, 2007). Negotiation of teachers’ identities ostensibly involves struggle as teachers seek to legitimize new identities in reaction to a specific professional event (Gu & Benson, 2015). Such identity struggles may lead to renewed relationships, new forms of professional engagement, and new understandings, or, on the other hand, disengagement or lack of legitimisation (Tsui, 2007).

To define the preservice teacher, before entering into an education program, most teachers will have obtained a previous academic degree, either a general or honors, in a subject of their choice (e.g. English, math, science, arts, etc.), and trained by the pre-service teaching program or teacher preparation. As the preservice teachers, they should understand the bilingualism and biculturalism are dynamic and ever changing. Identifying teacher praparation practices to address the needs of bilingual preservice teachers in the region of high Latino population is critical. It requires the ESL (English as Second Language) / bilingual preservice teachers building a teacher preparation pedagogy grounded in their own language use, enabling teachers to use their different languages extensively, and modeling how to develop academic abilities in both languages (Garcia, Flores, & Woodley, 2012). It also requires revisiting teacher educators’ instructional approach taking into account how preservice teachers’ cultural and linguistic background influences their teaching identity (Clark & Flores, 2001).

      In light of the ESL (English as Second Language) / Bilingual education, the Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 29, Subchapter B, §29.051 through §29.064, as sited by the Texas Education Agency Department of Accountability and School Accreditation, states that: “Bilingual education is a state-required program. The state policy mandates that every student in the state who has a home language other than English and who is identified as Limited English Proficient (LEP) shall be provided a full opportunity to participate in the required bilingual education program (in districts with 20 or more LEP students in the same language classification in the same grade-level district wide) or the required ESL / Bilingual program (for districts that do not meet the 20 or more LEP criteria).” The goals of ESL / Bilingual education included helping the students understand literacy and biliteracy development, and further develop their linguistic and cultural academic competence by providing authentic opportunities to read, write, think, and talk in the second language.

There are common structural categories of teacher identity during the process of teacher education. I will discuss the following aspects of teacher identity: culturally efficacious identity; recognizing different identity; and how does the teacher preparation program help the ESL/Bilingual preservice teacher act as a transitional identity toward their teacher identity formation.

Culturally Efficacious Identity

In this section, I will discuss eight stages of the construct of identity first. Then, I will move away from this perspective of sequential stages passed through, and view identity making as a heuristic developmental process dependent on sociocultural interactions and historical moments. This sociocultural approach leads to the understanding of culturally efficacious identity as multiple, fluid, and always in the process of formation. The five various motivation may predict teacher commitment and culturally efficacious identity will be discussed. The two comprised factors of teacher self-efficacy, general and personal impact on the shaping of identity. In addition, a conceptual framework for the development of ethnic and teacher identity that will lead to the preparation of preservice culturally efficacious teachers during bilingual/bicultural practicum will be discussed.

Erikson (1950) popularized the construct of identity based on eight stages, they are: 1) trust versus mistrust; 2) autonomy versus shame and doubt; 3) initiative versus guilt 4) industry versus inferiority; 5) identity versus role confusion; 6) intimacy versus isolation; 7) generativity versus stagnation; and 8) integrity versus despair Erikson’s theory refers to “psychosocial crisis” (or psychosocial crises, being the plural). This term is an extension of people’s internal emotional conflict. Each stage involves a crisis of two opposing emotional forces. A helpful term used by Erikson for these opposing forces is “contrary dispositions”. Each crisis stage relates to a corresponding life stage and its inherent challenges. I might also describe this sort of crisis as an internal struggle or challenge which a person must negotiate and deal with in order to grow and develop for their identity.

The literature (Allard et al., 1995; Crow et al., 1990; Yong, 1995; Zimpher, 1989) suggests ten motivations that teacher aspirants may hold when entering preservice teacher education. Among of them, the five various motivation may predict teacher commitment and culturally efficacious identity will be discussed. Although decisions to teach are developmental and change over time, they are based on following motives: (a) love for working with children, (b) passion for a specific content area, (c) desire to give back to the community, (d) commitment to make a difference in the lives of children, and/or (e) degree of job security and benefits (Sinclair, Dowson, & McInerney, 2006). According to Sinclair et al., teacher motivations differ depending on age, gender, minority status, academic achievement, and former experiences of career, all above may predict teacher commitment. Flores (2001) reported that cultural, literacy, and schooling experiences influenced motivations for pursuing bilingual education teacher preparation. Sandoval-Lucero (2006) observed that bilingual paraprofessionals with a strong commitment to the community aspired to become bilingual teachers.

Motivation of love for working with children

It originally from the ten motivation (Allard et al., 1995; Crow et al., 1990; Yong, 1995; Zimpher, 1989) of “love” of, or desire to work with, children or adolescents. It seems to relate to the intrinsic worth of teaching. As such, this motivation might be expected to be more stable across time than other, externally referenced, motivations such as conditions of employment.

Motivation of passion for a specific content area

It originally from the ten motivation (Allard et al., 1995; Crow et al., 1990; Yong, 1995; Zimpher, 1989) of “intellectual reasons, such as a love of learning or teaching, a love of a particular subject area (the latter more likely reported by secondary teachers), the desire to impart knowledge, and so on.”

Motivation of desire to give back to the community

It originally from the ten motivation (Allard et al., 1995; Crow et al., 1990; Yong, 1995; Zimpher, 1989) of “the influence of others, such as family members, former teachers, or members of the community; and the opportunities that teaching provides for satisfying interpersonal interactions with others.” It can make children and parents happier by boosting not only physical health but also by promoting social interactions. Of course the good relationship between teachers and parents that come from contributing to the community. This potentially happier and healthier mindset promotes a desire to give back more.

Motivation of commitment to make a difference in the lives of children

It originally from the ten motivation (Allard et al., 1995; Crow et al., 1990; Yong, 1995; Zimpher, 1989) of “the perceived worth or value of teaching to others; and a desire to help other people.” The preservice teacher eager to prove that they were their own person, and therefore they pursued something else, that is they are having an impact on children as a lifelong teacher.

Motivation of degree of job security and benefits

It originally from the ten motivation (Allard et al., 1995; Crow et al., 1990; Yong, 1995; Zimpher, 1989) of “the perceived benefits or convenience of teaching (attributable to factors such as work schedules, work hours and vacations, and salary); and the status of teaching, including the opportunities that teaching provides for career or social advancement.” Conversely, ease of entry to the occupation and dissatisfaction with previous employment were not strong motivators. Thus, these preservice teachers do not appear to be strongly motivated by negative reasons such as work avoidance or dissatisfaction. In another way, these preservice teachers appear to be positively attracted to the teaching profession rather than negatively attracted to it, or positively repelled from another profession (Zembylas, 2003).

The two comprised factors of teacher self-efficacy, general and personal impact on the shaping of identity (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). General teaching efficacy is the belief that internal or external factors influence competency. Personal teaching efficacy is the confidence that teachers’ teaching makes a difference in students’ lives.

General teaching efficacy

With the work of Rotter (1966) as a theoretical base, the Rand researchers conceived teacher efficacy as the extent to which teachers believed that they could control the reinforcement of their actions, that is, whether control of reinforcement lay within them or in the environment. Teachers who concur that the influence of the environment overwhelms a teacher’s ability to have an impact on a student’s learning exhibit a belief that reinforcement of their teaching efforts lies outside their control or is external to them. Teachers who express confidence in their ability to teach difficult or unmotivated students to evidence a belief that reinforcement of teaching activities lies within the teacher’s control or is internal.

Personal teaching efficacy

Guskey (1981,1988) reported strong intercorrelations ranging from 0.72 to 0.81 between overall responsibility and responsibility for student success and student failure, while the subscales for student success and student failure were only weakly related (0.20)

or not at all. In general, teachers assumed greater responsibility for positive results than for negative results, that is, they were more confident in their ability to influence positive outcomes than to prevent negative ones. Greater efficacy was related to a high level of confidence in teaching abilities on a measure of teaching self-concept. Teachers’ confidence and perseverance are two of the important elements of maintaining and nurturing bilingual children’s native language, and improve their English as second language proficiency.

Additionally, teachers’ efficacy beliefs also relate to their ethnic and cultural identities, which reflect the socialization processes experienced in homes and communities. Holland, Lachicotte, Skinner and Cain (1998)’s understanding of multiple identities as socially constructed through power relations embedded within particular social practices. It states, “Persons are now recognized to have perspectives on their cultural worlds that are likely to differ by gender and other markers of social positions” (p.31). This calls for a framework to “describe how specific, often socially powerful, cultural discourses and practices both position people and provide them with the resources to respond to the problematic situations in which they find themselves” (p.32).


Generally, the review above appears to indicate a relatively clear delineation between externally and internally referenced motivations to teach and between negative and positive motivations to teach. Most of the studies demonstrated that preservice teachers may exhibit a variety of different motivations toward teaching and that these motivations can change across the first semester of a preservice teacher’s teacher education course. However, the relatively small sample size of this study may limit the generalizability of its findings. Thus, the future research with larger sample sizes is warranted. In addition, on the basis of the results thus far, it would be worthwhile to collect further waves of data to track changes in preservice teachers’ motivations over the whole of their courses and even into the beginning phase of their teaching careers. And although the instrument used in this study displayed useful measurement properties, further research will be able to substantiate the psychometric properties of the motivation with other samples, especially for the ESL/bilingual teacher candidates.

Teachers’ efficacy beliefs are presumed to be relatively stable once set, more information is needed as to the factors that contribute to efficacy judgments and how efficacy beliefs are established. In the future study, the longitudinal studies following preservice teachers through their training and first years in the field would be instructive. How do the efficacy beliefs of the supervising teacher in the practicum and subsequent mentors impact the sense of efficacy of the teacher candidates? Many schools have initiated mentoring programs for teachers in their induction year. What features of mentoring have the greatest impact on efficacy beliefs and identiyy?

Recognizing Different Identity

In this section, I will outline the three different identity development involved in constant processing and interacting with preservice teachers themselves and others. Three themes emerged with respect to how ESL/bilingual teacher candidates recognized themselves and were recognized by others. In addition, Chinese- and Spanish-speaking engaged in identity development, the process of transforming into a bilingual teacher, and self-defining around issues of cultures, language, and learning engaged with others will be discussed.

The first theme is authentication, identified within as the process of conscious self-definition. The bilingual students including the Chinese- or Spanish-speaking, were concerned about developing their abilities in the langauge with which they identified ethnically and culturally (Flores et al., 2010), other than English. However, this concern not only related to bilingual students themselves, but also related to their professional aspirations. They understood that if they were not academically proficient in the language of the children they were to serve, they could be a detriment to the students’ success. They were not only able to define who they were; they were able to express how their identities were discursively verified (Bucholtz & Hall, 2005) through their understanding of the relation of and with language learning in the bilingual teaching practice. Moments and process of authentication were not only tied to self-definition but also yo the profession of choice.

The second theme is related to the dynamic nature of development and transformation of teacher identity. It (Bucholtz & Hall, 2005) examined the shifts in thinking that occur during interaction with others that inform the preservice teachers’ identity development and transformation. And it saw the process as an intersubjectivity achieved through social and cultural interaction. The interactions with other entailed interactions with social and cultural categories, such as their teaching and learning institutions, peers, communities, students, and family. These social interactions lead preservice teachers into self-discoveries at the same time.

The third theme is related to the incompleteness, the never-ending, ongoing nature of identity development and transformation (Flores, 2001). Everyone in this group created an e-portfolio of their educational philosophy, teaching, and learning practices. The questions running through their work were about their development as teachers, for example: “Am I a better teacher if I know x, y, and z?” What type of training practices, as well as theories, do I need to prepare me to be a bilingual educator? How do I look at my other personal goals in relation to my goal of being a better ESL/bilingual educator? Is studying for this subject enough? What else do I need? All above questions are on-going and never-ending asked by preservice teachers themselves.

Additionally, we do not just want to pose questions about how the shifts in teacher candidates’ identity (Lave, 1996; Gee, 2001) occur; we want to specifically highlight moments of conflict, disjuncture, or difference within the teacher cadiadtes’ comparative discourse about language and culture and their practices within multilingual settings and how these become spaces for learning. Chinese- and Spanish-speaking engaged in identity development and in the process pf transforming into a bilingual teacher, as making conscious choices and self-defining around issues of culture, language, and learning while engaged with others. For example, the recognition of self as including different identities at different moments requires authentication, constant reflection for self-improvement, and acceptance of the incompleteness of being. When they attempt to define their own learning and teaching moments where they could feel their development as collaboration.


Although the three themes showed with respect to how teacher candidates positioned themselves and were recognized by others, through the process of authentication, the teacher candidates constantly repositioned themselves: they played with the ability to situate themselves while maintaining a view of self as enduring the process (Trueba, 1999) of transformation, and they also played with the multiplicity, fragmentation, and hybridity of their transcultural repositioning process. While the research showed that shifts and reposition of preservice teachers were never based on a relationship with one isolated entity, such as the school or an individual, but rather than of constant interaction and intersubjective with numerous, overlapping entities.

For most of the studies, it was hard to defend the application of the study to preservice teachers at the national level since there were limited participants and all of them were from the same institution in the Unites States. Moreover, in other contexts such as UK, China, and European courtiers, they may have different bilingual education preparation system for preservice teachers’ professional identity verification. The study could be administered nationally/regionally in hopes of better understanding the question at hand. Although the richness of data helped to identify factors can impact future research, there are a number of significant factors, including the role of peer preservice teachers, community, school context is acknowledged, this study only considered the impact of mentoring relationship on forging preservice teachers’ identity. Therefore, some changes may occur due to other external factors that not examined in those research.

In future direction, the researcher could enhance the credibility of the data through triangulation strategies, such as collecting data from beginning and end of each placement, different source of the mentor teacher and preservice teachers, etc. In addition, we were able to see how it is a natural tendency to make judgments about teacher candidates as capable or incapable when we looked at components, but we also saw different and more exciting possibilities if we looked at them as unfinished as someone in the process of authentication and becoming. Thus, the future research could focus on the process of preservice teacher undertake to become bilingual education teachers, and promote nationally and internationally communication on ESL/bi/multilingual teacher education and preservice teacher identity.

ESL/Bilingual Education Teacher Preparation

In this section, I will discuss the study of transforming teacher preparation. Understanding the ESL/bilingual preservice teachers’ motivation, self-efficacy and teacher identity will assist the teacher in their identity formation, defining their teaching role, and their transformation toward becoming culturally efficacious. Therefore, the four aspects of teacher preparation program (Flores, Clark, Claeys, & Villarreal, 2007) will be considered and discussed: culturally responsive teaching belief; personal efficacy and epistemology; enthusiasm for language and literacy learning; and ESL/bilingual teacher preparation model.

The preparation of ESL/bilingual preservice teachers to work productively with bilingual students is critical given that many current teachers were not adequately prepared to address the cultural and linguistic differences evident in most US classrooms. Two-thirds of all bilingual children enrolled in English-only classes are quickly mainstreamed into traditional content classes (Hopstock & Stephenson, 2003). While over 40% of all US teachers reported having bilingual children in their classroom, only 12.5% of those teachers had at least eight hours of professional training around language diversity within a three-year period (National Center for Education Statistics, [NCES], 2002).

Cultural Responsive Teaching Beliefs

The cultural responsive teaching beliefs items, such as “important for future teacher to know the cultural background and home language of their student; believe students’ negative home experiences can be overcome by good teaching, etc.”, those questions and items imply that bilingual preservice teachers have strong notions regarding the role of the native language and culture in the classroom (Brown, 2004). Their responses reveal positive beliefs in their projected competence and effectiveness. Whether the teachers and/or bilingual teachers are consciously aware of it or not, belong to cultural communities that define their cultural identities, form their beliefs and attitudes (Nisbett, 2003; Rogoff, 2003), and guide their behavior (Kroeber, Kluckhohn, & Meyer, 1960). ESL/bilingual teachers’ culturally constructed beliefs and attitudes can, in turn, influence their interactions with bilingual students, among whom teachers may distinguish according to such cultural dimensions as ethnicity, class, religion, and language (Ibarra, 1999).

Personal Efficacy and Epistemology

In teacher preparation program, the preservice teacher should aware of their role and personal efficacy accentuates bilingual children’s confidence and pride, which likely carries on through life (Goddard, Hoy, & Hoy, 2000). ESL/bilingual teacher candidates’ epistemological notions, how knowledge is acquired and constructed, may indicate how they will approach learning tasks. Considering their belief that knowledge is acquired from experts, the epistemology may actually reflect cultural practices, whereby elders are highly respected and regarded as experts. Because motives, beliefs, and efficacy inform an individual’s identity and ideology, they must be unearthed, examined, and reflected upon throughout their teacher preparation program. Flores (2008) proposed that exploration of identity and ideology can be addressed in courses examining bilingual language development; cultural diversity, authentic multicultural childrens’ literature; examination of families, communities, and schools; and Spanish for heritage language speakers.

Enthusiasm for Language and Literacy Learning

The ESL/Bilingualteacher preparation program must recognise the centrality of language in teaching and learning. Languge is a tool for constructing and mediating knowledge (Lucas, Villegas, & Freedson-Gonzalez, 2008). Programs must encourage teacher candidates to use their languages and cultures as pedagogical tools when selecting instructional strategies and curricular content. It is necessary to avoid that preservice teachers’ language and culture have been lost or devalued as a result of their prior experience.

ESL/Bilingual Teacher Preparation Model

The Educar model (Flores et al., 2010) is conceptualized within two overarching, interdependent, complementary frameworks, tranformation and revolution, with three interconnecting dimensions: illustration, praxis, and conceptualization, directly programmatic content. It guides the transformative-revolutionary spirit permeating throughout the ESL/bilingual teacher candidates’ teacher-life, continue their journey toward excellence through continual commitment and development.


It is very significant in this research field by pointing out the implications for ESL/bilingual teacher preparation, especially in the university of Hispanic-serving institution. For example, according to statistics data from Texas Education Agency in 2009, Texas has the second largest Bilingual population in the country and Latins are the largest ethnic group within the Limited English Proficient (LEP) population (Vasquez & Darling-Hammond, 2008). It is necessary to the Texas ESL/bilingual preservice teacher pursuing bilingual education certification obtain a degree in interdisciplinary studies and multilingual education with the urban school setting (Callahan, Wilkinson, Muller, & Frisco, 2009). Specifically, it is vital to understand whether and how teachers’ general beliefs about, and attitudes toward, racial and ethnic groups relate to proximal and more contextually defined cultural beliefs and intentions that may result in less-than-adaptive instructional consequences. Discerning this potential relationship is especially important for teachers in the United States (Sinclarir, Dowson, & McInerney, 2006), since most are White, middle-class, and female and have little experience with cultural diversity (Hollins & Torres-Guzman, 2005; Valli, 1995). In the future study, for the teacher preparation program in Texas, we need focus more on the following questions, such as: can ESL teacher candidates’ complete programs without basic foundational knowledge related to bilingual learners? What is the role of preparation programs in assuring that all teacher candidates are prepared to meet the social, academic, and language needs of bilingual learners? These questions are significant considering that numbers of bilingual learners continue to increase substantially.


To sum up, the studies summarize the main findings on the motivation, self-efficacy and teacher identity of ESL/bilingual preservice teachers, and also propose the future research directions in this field. For example, studying Spanish-speaking ESL/bilinguals’ histories as a tool for tapping into culturally responsive teaching strategies; comparing the Chinese-speaking with the Spanish-speaking ESL/bilingual preservice teachers’ different identity development; capturing bilingual teachers’ ideological development across time, including during their preparation program and into their five-year of teaching.

For ESL/bilingual preservice teachers, their motivation, attitudes, disposition, beliefs, values, self-efficacy, and identities often intersect and mutually influence the ways they process preparation. Most of the studies reveal that membership in culturally and linguistically marginalized communities (both prior to and during preparation) tilts teaching identity toward a social justice perspective. The preservice teachers should recognize their role as linguistic and cultural role models and embrace this calling with a deep desire to make a difference in ESL/bilingual students’ lives.


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