Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Journal of Latino and Latin American Studies 3(1): 56-75.


This paper reflects on an effort to support Nebraska teachers, both practicing and preservice, to become more ready for the state‘s changing demographics, notably for the growth in Latino and Spanish-speaking populations. To that end, it describes an effort funded by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln‘s Initiative on Teaching and Learning Excellence called, ―Schooling in Nebraska‘s Demographically Transitioning Communities.‖ That initiative makes mentors of practicing teachers who have enrolled in summer courses in second language acquisition. In the fall of 2006, ten such teachers mentored 44 undergraduates enrolled in TEAC 331 ―Cultural Foundation of American Education‖ or TEAC 413A ―Second Language Acquisition.‖ This paper reports on that fall 2006 experience. (The experience will be repeated in the Fall of 2007.) However, before describing that experience or the methodology we have used to analyze it, it is worth tracing briefly both how the demographics of Nebraska‘s schools are changing and why that change suggests a teacher training need. Those are the goals of the next segment.