In some institutions offering certification for bilingual education and ESL teachers, the corresponding mainstream programs do little to ready their students to work effectively with language minority children. Yet today's mainstream classrooms are linguistically and culturally diverse, and all teachers must appreciate the role of language and culture in teaching and learning. This study describes one effort to consciously combine preservice bilingual and mainstream education teachers in a bilingual education methods cohort. Students reported promising gains in cross-cultural understanding and in cross-program appreciation. Some losses took place as well, however, and further innovation and research are needed in order to ensure that such efforts to combine programs strengthen, but not weaken, each program.
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