For example, Dina, an IETC who was not part of the ESL-cohort, indicated that the most difficult aspect of teaching in Ontario classrooms was the focus on diversity-related issues.
Grace, an IETC from the ESL-cohort, originally from China, who had started learning English when she was 15 indicated:
An examination of the means reveals that IETCs express a relatively higher level of both empathy towards ELLs and understanding of diversity-related issues compared to Canadian-born TCs who predominantly spoke English as their first language (i.
The second analysis compared the findings from teacher candidates who were enrolled in the ESL-cohort, which focused on teaching in multilingual classrooms (n = 18) and the IETCs who were not enrolled in this program (n = 7) (see Table 2).
These IETCs overwhelmingly attributed their high self-perceived level of empathy to their personal experiences of having to learn English as a second language and having dealt with cases of racism and discrimination.
The entire group of IETCs provided similar explanations for their high self-reported level of empathy towards ELLs and understanding of diversity-related issues.
Sandy, who was born in Canada to Italian-speaking parents, echoed experiences somewhat similar to IETCs.
As a result of the explicit emphasis and effective instruction on ESL-inclusive pedagogy provided in the ESL-cohort, these participants were more prepared to teach ELLs in mainstream classrooms compared with IETCs who did not receive focused instruction.
The IETCs who were not part of the ESL-cohort, on the other hand, had received little or no explicit instruction and modeling of ESL-inclusive pedagogy.
The other five IETCs provided similar statements about their roles and responsibilities towards ELLs.
The interviews revealed a marked difference between the ways in which IETCs from the ESLcohort elaborated on their knowledge about the English language and the ways in which the IET non-ESL-cohort participants discussed language support for ELLs.
Therefore, Canadian-born participants can also relate such personal experiences to those of ELLs just as IETCs.