Contrary to the prevailing view that IETCs diversify the teaching force and are therefore in a better position to provide diversity-inclusive pedagogy, this study found that IETCs, more than Canadian-born TCs, expressed challenges about providing diversity-inclusive pedagogy in their classrooms.
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. Nonetheless, some argue that the experiences of learning English and functioning through English is different (e.g., Braine, 1999) as there are power dynamics associated with English and speakers of English as a first language (Pennycook, 1994; Phillipson, 1992).
Findings also revealed that empathy with ELLs and personal experiences with diversity did not automatically assist IETCs in adopting ESL-inclusive pedagogy or ideology.
The data also revealed that IETCs were not automatically better in their instructional practices in working with ELLs.
Table 1 Descriptive Statistics for Questionnaire Items Canadian-born IETs M SD M SD Level of empathy with ELLs 8.5 1.4 9.8 0.4 Level of understanding of 8.4 1.2 9.2 0.6 diversity-related issues Preparedness to teach (overall) 8.5 0.6 7.8 0.7 Preparedness to teach 8.5 0.5 9.1 0.6 ELLs in mainstream classrooms Responsibility towards 9.9 0.3 7.9 2.1 ELLs in mainstream classrooms Table 2 Descriptive Statistics for Questionnaire Items: ESL-cohort and Non-cohort Group (IETCs) ESL-cohort Non Cohort (IETCs) M SD M SD Level of empathy with ELLs 9.1 1.3 9.7 0.4 Level of understanding 8.8 1.2 8.9 0.4 of diversity-related issues Preparedness to teach 8.4 0.6 7.4 0.5 Preparedness to teach 9.0 0.5 8.6 0.8 ELLs in mainstream classrooms Responsibility towards 10 0.0 6.0 1.0 ELLs in mainstream classrooms
Paulette, an IETC originally from China, elaborated on her high self-reported level of empathy with ELLs:
Mary, also an IETC who had immigrated to Canada from the Czech Republic 15 years prior to the study, echoed a similar rationale for her high self-perceived level of empathy towards ELLs and understanding of diversity-related issues: