Teachers Navigating Cultural and Linguistic Differences: Building Empathy Through Participation in Immersive Experience
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In this chapter, we examine preparation for real-world teaching contexts defined by linguistic and cultural difference through the lens of participation in an immersive TESL education program. Based on our experiences as two developing educators representing different levels of professional experience, teaching contexts, and classroom demographics, we argue that participation in immersive programs better prepares teachers to teach in any context through development of intercultural competence, cultural responsivity, and empathy for students along with pedagogical learning. Using a reflective lens toward teacher learning, we outline how we have drawn on lessons from this program to navigate linguistic and cultural difference among ourselves and our students within our respective teaching contexts.
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