The Binational Option: Meeting the Instructional Needs of Limited English Proficient Students
The growing population of limited English proficient (LEP) students has increased the demand for qualified educators with credentials in English as a Second Language (ESL) or bilingual instruction. This report examines existing collaborative teacher exchange programs that some U.S. states and districts have established with Mexico and Spain, and identifies teacher exchanges as a relatively unexplored, yet promising strategy for meeting the needs of LEP students and alleviating endemic teacher shortages—particularly in districts that face rapid, unexpected, or short-term changes in the student population.
Despite the lack of empirical evidence on the effect of teacher exchange programs on students and participating teachers, the report suggests that integrating such programs with longer-term strategies for addressing teacher shortages could benefit all stakeholders: school districts fill their most urgent staffing needs, Spanish and Mexican teachers gain practical experience working in the United States and improve their knowledge of English, and students gain access to qualified and experienced teachers.
I. Introduction and Background
A. Immigration Policy Context
B. Education Policy Context
II. The Teacher Shortage
A. The Origins of the Teacher Shortage
B. State and Local Strategies to Address the Teacher Shortage
III. The Binational Option
A. U.S.-Mexico Binational Migrant Education Program Teacher Exchanges
B. The U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Spain Visiting Teacher Programs