Teacher Preparation and Language Policy Appropriation: A Qualitative Investigation of Teach For America Teachers in Arizona


  • Amy J Heineke Loyola University Chicago
  • Quanna Cameron Independent Researcher




Alternative Teacher Certification, Educational Policy, English-only Movement, In-service Teacher Education


In this qualitative study, we examined teachers’ language policy appropriation in the English-only state of Arizona. Specifically, we investigated teachers who received their professional placement and preparation through the Teach For America organization. We conducted the research in 2010 and 2011, a period when Arizona state language policy required that English learners be placed in English language development classrooms, separated from mainstream classrooms, to receive four hours of daily skill-based language instruction in language-specific content only, including grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, and conversation. Through analysis of interview data from seven current corps members and eight alumni teachers, we investigated whether and how professional preparation shaped teachers’ identity and agency to implement prescriptive linguistic and instructional mandates in the classroom.



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Author Biographies

Amy J Heineke, Loyola University Chicago

Amy Heineke, Ph.D., is the Assistant Professor of Bilingual/Bicultural Education at Loyola University Chicago. Her research focuses on teacher preparation for English learners, linguistically responsive pedagogy and practice, and language policy. Her pursuits in teacher education are guided by her prior work as an elementary teacher in Phoenix, Arizona.


Quanna Cameron, Independent Researcher

Quanna Cameron, Ed.D., is an independent researcher who served as the senior managing director of teacher leadership development for Teach for America Phoenix at the time of the study. Her past and ongoing work in teacher education is inspired by her experience as an elementary teacher, reading coach, and assistant principal in Arizona.





How to Cite

Heineke, A. J., & Cameron, Q. (2013). Teacher Preparation and Language Policy Appropriation: A Qualitative Investigation of Teach For America Teachers in Arizona. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 21, 33. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v21n33.2013