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Engaging Future Professionals: How Language Teacher Associations Facilitate the Involvement of Student Members

  • Nikki AshcraftEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)

Abstract

Little has been previously documented about the ways language teacher associations (LTAs) support the membership and involvement of student teachers. In this study, the publicly available information on the websites of 124 LTAs in the United States was reviewed to identify the strategies used by these associations to recruit student members, facilitate their involvement in association activities, and meet their unique member needs. Associations reviewed included language-specific associations (e.g., Spanish, English as a second language) as well as associations serving teachers of various languages. Findings indicate that the primary way LTAs encourage students to join is by offering discounted student memberships. However, there is a lack of consistency in how “student” is defined and the type of evidence required to prove student status. LTAs demonstrate that they value student members by allowing them to participate in association governance, giving awards which recognize student teachers’ developing pedagogical skills, and featuring students in member spotlights on websites and in newsletters. They also allow students to contribute to the work of the association through volunteering and to the knowledge base of the field through special presentation and publication opportunities. LTAs further strive to meet students’ financial needs by offering membership and conference registration discounts, grants for conference attendance, and scholarships for educational pursuits. Finally, they attempt to meet student members’ social and career development through the formation of student subgroups and career mentoring initiatives. The chapter concludes with recommendations on steps LTAs can take to more actively involve student members.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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