Exploring the reasons for—and possible solutions to—the widespread world language educator shortage
New research out of Bowling Green State University is exploring the reasons for—and possible solutions to—widespread shortages among world language educators.
From 2008-09 until 2015-16, enrollment in teacher preparation programs nationwide dipped nearly 38%, with states reporting more shortages in world languages than any other subject, according to American Academy of Arts and Sciences data. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the need for qualified teachers in a wide variety of districts.
With that shortage in mind, Dr. Brigid Burke, associate professor in the BGSU College of Education and Human Development, and co-author Diane Ceo-DiFrancesco of Xavier University published research earlier this year in Foreign Language Annals about how world language teachers are recruited and retained.
The research found that the No. 1 reason world language educators chose their path was due to a world language teacher they had in high school, suggesting recruitment of these educators will be paramount in confronting shortages.
The researchers suggested a collaborative solution borrowed from another industry that already has experienced shortages: Trades. In certain areas of commercial construction in which union labor is most common, a collaborative approach among unions, contractors and union members has benefitted all three, the researchers found.
Similarly, they recommend a collaborative approach among teacher education programs, current and former world language teachers, university professors, pre-service teachers and professional organizations to create task forces with the purpose of recruiting the world language teachers of tomorrow.
More information: Brigid M. Burke et al, Recruitment and retention of world language teacher education majors: Perspectives of teacher candidates and alumni to remedy a global shortage, Foreign Language Annals (2022). DOI: 10.1111/flan.12613
Provided by Bowling Green State University