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ERIC Number: EJ932890
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 84
ISSN: ISSN-1361-3324
Living and Learning in Mexico: Developing Empathy for English Language Learners through Study Abroad
Marx, Sherry; Pray, Lisa
Race, Ethnicity and Education, v14 n4 p507-535 2011
This paper provides a qualitative examination of university student experiences with culture, language, and race in a short-term study abroad program in Cuernavaca, Mexico. All participants were White teacher education students from the United States earning their English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching endorsement and hoped to teach English language learners (ELLs). During the three week program, students took ESL Methods and Spanish for Teachers classes, and lived with host families in Cuernavaca. In addition to academic goals, the study abroad program was designed to help students develop empathy for the challenges faced by ELLs in the US through immersion in Mexico. Given that most teachers in the US are monolingual, native English speaking Whites and the majority of ELLs are native Spanish speakers, this study abroad experience provided many opportunities to develop empathy for ELL schoolchildren that the students' usual milieu in the US did not. Daily journal entries, instructors' observations, and pre- and post-experience questionnaires were examined. Through our analysis, we found that students struggled with the cultural, linguistic, and racial dimensions of their short-term study abroad experience and that most channeled these frustrations into some measure of empathetic understanding for the challenges facing ELLs in the US. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico