Quality teaching in community language schools:  Teacher funds of knowledge

Dr. Jing Qi, Manager of Community Languages Teacher Education Program, Social and Global Studies Centre, RMIT University, Melbourne Email: Jing.qi@rmit.edu.au
Associate Professor Kerry Mullan, Convenor of Language Studies, Social and Global Studies Centre, RMIT University, Melbourne Email: kerry.mullan@rmit.edu.au

Teacher development for community languages remains under-researched and existing studies underscore a deficit view of the teachers. This study uses teacher surveys, teacher journals and researcher observation to understand the background, experience and knowledge of 70 community language teachers of 15 languages in Victoria, Australia. Theoretically driven by the funds of knowledge approach, this study explores two research questions: what domains of knowledge do community language teachers possess? How do they use this knowledge when teaching in community language schools? We discuss the multiple ways that teacher funds of knowledge inform their teaching, with a focus upon the transferability of their funds of knowledge to community school settings. We argue that professional development approaches for community language teachers need to build upon both specific and broad transfers of their funds of knowledge. 

community language, heritage language, funds of knowledge, transferrable knowledge, teacher development.

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