Bridging the Gap: Preparing Teachers to Meet the Needs of ELLs through Service-Learning

Michele Regalla


Although the U.S. student population has become increasingly diverse, our teaching force does not reflect equal levels of diversity.  Teacher education programs are charged with the task of preparing pre-service teachers to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students.  This paper addresses one option for providing pre-service teachers with diversity experiences by offering a short term service-learning program abroad.  Research has shown that pre-service teachers feel more prepared to meet the needs of English learners after their participation in international experiences with service-learning or study abroad.  This paper presents practical guidance for teacher educators who wish to start a service-learning program for pre-service teachers.


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