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Rural schools in the United States are facing an increase in the number of English learners (EL s). Teachers in rural communities must facilitate learning for EL s whose linguistic and cultural backgrounds differ from the mainstream. However, rural teachers are less prepared, and less able to integrate EL differences and address their educational needs. Although some research on what teachers need to know to effectively teach language and content to EL s has been conducted, little is known about the actual teacher knowledge (TK) required to provide effective EL instruction in secondary rural settings. Grounded in TK and place-conscious education frameworks, this narrative-informed qualitative study addressed two main questions: (1) what personal and professional knowledges do secondary teachers reveal about teaching EL s in rural settings? And (2) what place-based knowledges do secondary teachers reveal about their work with EL s? Primary data from four secondary teachers teaching EL s in a rural school in the southeastern United States consisted of video-recorded interviews and photo elicitation that illuminated teachers’ personal, professional, and place-based experiences via stories. Thematic data analysis followed an iterative approach. Findings from this study demonstrated that the teachers’ personal and place-based knowledges emerged as the most prominent influences in their work. By leveraging their bilingualism, hispanidad, and faith, teachers in this rural school community built authentic relationships with their EL s. Thus, relationship-building was central to teachers’ knowledge base of working with EL s. A four-dimensional model is proposed. Findings may inform teacher education programs and extend the research base on rural EL education.

In: Educating Multilingual Students in Rural Schools
Illuminating Diversity in Rural Communities in the United States
Illuminating issues of diversity at the intersection of rural education and multilingual learners (ML) in the United States, this edited volume brings forth new research that captures the importance of place and rurality in the work of educators who serve multilingual learners and their families. The six chapters in this book demonstrate that education for teachers, leaders and staff, professional development programs, and government-funded projects aimed to improve rural education need to begin with three interrelated, multifaceted principles. The first principle is the need to center place and rurality as essential factors that affect education for all educators, students, and families who live, work, and attend schools in rural communities. Second, educators must humanize multilingual students, their families, and their cultures in ways that go beyond merely acknowledging their presence – they must deeply see and understand the lives and (hi)stories of the multilingual students and families that they serve in their rural schools. Finally, the third principle involves identifying multilingual resources for ML students and their families. Given the persistent inequities in access to resources and opportunities that rural ML students and families face, this last principle requires careful planning, networking, and advocating in ways that can truly effectuate change.

Contributors are: Jioanna Carjuzaa, Maria R. Coady, Paula Golombek, Shuzhan Li, Kristin Kline Liu, Nidza V. Marichal, Charity Funfe Tatah Mentan, Kym O’Donnell, Stephanie Oudghiri, Darrell Peterson, Sonja Phillips, Jenelle Reeves and Yi-Chen Wu.
In: Educating Multilingual Students in Rural Schools
In: Educating Multilingual Students in Rural Schools