Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Major Professor

Dr. John I. Liontas Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dr. Phil C. Smith Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dr. Sara A.Smith Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dr. Leia K. Cain PhD.


bilingual education, in-service teachers, teacher education


This dissertation investigates preservice teachers’ perspectives towards dual language education (DLE) through a mixed methods approach. This study investigates preservice teachers enrolled in an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) certification course concerning the following research questions: 1. What impact does taking an ESOL course have on preservice teachers’ attitudes and perspectives towards DLE? 2. Is there a significant difference in change in attitude between students taking the course online versus face to face (F2F)? 3. How are preservice teachers informed about what schools have dual language programs in their area? 4.What relationship may exist between attitudes, perspectives, and preservice teachers own personal experiences with bilingualism and experiences with diversity, and/or place of origin? The study follows a sequential explanatory research design which included a pre and post survey at the beginning and end of the semester, and interviews with participants in between the two surveys. The participants included 24 preservice teachers enrolled in an online and F2F section of an ESOL course. Findings from the research encompassed discovering an overall positive shift in preservice teachers’ perspectives towards DLE and English learner (EL) students, a difference between the F2F and online groups’ survey responses, and relationships between preservice teachers’ attitudes and perspectives towards DLE and their past experiences and place of origin. Participants showed positive increases in perspective from the total mean scores increasing from the pre to post survey, and in interviews. Participants in the F2F group showed higher increases from the pre to post survey than the online group, however neither group yielded statistically significant findings. Interviews provided a wealth of detailed examples of how these groups of preservice teachers reflected throughout the ESOL course and developed more positive attitudes towards ELs and DLE, and optimistic mindsets towards working with ELs and/or in a DLE setting in the future. Overall, this research seeks to underscore that the more knowledge, awareness, and empathy that preservice teachers are able to gain from courses that prepare them to work with linguistically diverse populations of students, the better equipped they will be to guide future generations of EL learners into educational success and beyond.