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Bilingual teacher welfare

Carmelo Borges, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study was developed because there is very little research covering the topic of bilingual teachers. Literature that describes how bilingual teachers view their role within the whole school environment, what makes their career unique from other teachers, their perspectives on bilingual education, their needs, and the issues most affecting them, was lacking. Therefore, this study attempts to fill that gap within the literature. Through qualitative in-depth interviewing, the participants in this study were encouraged to discuss the issues and topics most relevant to them from a set of interview guide questions. Two groups of participants, former bilingual teachers and teachers currently working in a bilingual program, were selected to add breadth and depth to the research findings. The literature review chapter sheds light on what little data is available that is relevant to the target group and brings forth gray areas which need to be studied. Further, this chapter provides an overview of multiple issues which affect the field of bilingual education, but which do not currently consider the perspectives of bilingual teachers. This section was incorporated in order to provide solid background information as well as to allow the participants to give their views on some of the topics. This study documents the following general findings about bilingual teachers at Westpoint School District: (1) Most people who pursue a career in bilingual education are native speakers of the language in which they teach and have previous teaching experience in their native land. (2) Political threats to bilingual education are causing former bilingual teachers to leave their program, seeking job security. (3) Bilingual teachers' workloads are greater than average because of the lack of resources, the absence of support personnel, dual language teaching, student-related issues, the lack of student academic support programs, and having to implement the goals of the program. (4) A bilingual teacher's role entails performing the duties customarily performed by support personnel as well as implementing the goals of bilingual programs and student academic support programs. (5) Participants in this study perceive a lack of professional equality between bilingual teachers and other educators.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Multicultural education

Recommended Citation

Borges, Carmelo, "Bilingual teacher welfare" (2000). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9960738.