No. 13, January 2024: Bilingual Teacher Residencies in California: Findings and Recommendations for Policy and Practice


This research brief presents a study that explores one type of teacher residency program, bilingual teacher residencies (BTRs). The Center for Equity for English Learners at Loyola Marymount University (LMU CEEL) partnered with the Californians Dedication to Education Foundation (CDEF) to investigate BTRs participating in CDEF’s California Teacher Residency Lab (The Lab). To expand the knowledge base around bilingual teacher residencies and provide policy and practice recommendations, researchers conducted interviews with a sample of BTR grantee program leaders to capture and analyze their perspectives regarding BTRs based on their implementation phase and context. Four key findings emerged: (1) Bilingual Teacher Residencies are building on community cultural and linguistic wealth; (2) Bilingual Teacher Residencies focus on critical consciousness and culturally responsive and sustaining teaching; (3) Strong district-university partnerships facilitated collaborative program design and problem solving; and (4) Candidates in BTRs face greater financial barriers to becoming teachers than other teacher residency candidates. Based upon the findings, the authors propose three recommendations for policy and practice to ensure California’s BTRs can serve as a vehicle for addressing bilingual teacher shortages at the state and local levels: (1) Ensure systemic coherence and information sharing across agencies and efforts; (2) Build on the efforts of the California Teacher Residency Lab (The Lab) as well as the newly formed State Regional Technical Assistance Center (SRTAC) to provide differentiated, high-quality technical assistance/supports; and (3) Ensure sustainability of BTRs into the future through funding and knowledge building.

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This paper was published in Loyola Marymount University.

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