March 2023

Meet Annela Teemant

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Professor Annela Teemant's expertise is in preparing teachers for students learning English as a new language in K-12 settings. English language learners are the fastest growing student population in the United States, making up about 10% of the population currently. But projections say that by 2025, it may be as high as 25% of students are English language learners.

Currently, 64% of United States teachers already have at least one English learner in their classroom, and soon they will have more. What this means is that every teacher is a teacher of English language learners. These teachers deserve more professional development opportunities that expand their knowledge of language, culture, pedagogy and equity mindedness. Professor Teemant's research focuses on improving teacher preparation for multilingual learners. Over her career, she has garnered six U.S. Department of Education federal grants (about $14 million in federal funding) to study teacher quality for multilingual learners.

She also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in such topics as inclusive learning communities, second language literacy, assessment, critical sociocultural pedagogy for content-based learning, and research design.  

In her free time, she enjoys writing, working on family history projects, and off-roading in the mountains.

Collaboration makes radical changes possible.

Professor Annela Teemant

(Top Photo) - 2023 Grant Collaborators (MSD Pike Township district office leaders and IUPUI team (Professor Teemant bottom right) meeting to launch our new $3 million US Department of Education Grant). (Left Photo) - 2022 SU E4L Facilitators (Professor Teemant (right) and Dean Tambra Jackson (left) at Ernie Pyle Elementary holding a 30-hour seminar). (Right Photo) - 2017 Teacher Group at Seminar (MSD Pike Township teachers at my summer institute)

Q and A with Professor Annela Teemant

My interests in language education grew out of my family’s experiences fleeing Estonia at the end of World War II to Sweden and then 14 years later immigrating to the United States.

My research seeks to address the educational inequities multilingual learners experience in their schooling because teachers are not adequately prepared with the knowledge they need about language, culture, pedagogy, and equity-mindedness.

I am developing professional learning materials, programs, and a job-embedded coaching approach using critical and sociocultural theories to transform teaching practices for multilingual learners. My work is being used in national and international collaborations to advance the knowledge base for multilingual teaching.

I am energized by the creative process of developing professional learning experiences for and with teachers. Being able to design research to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of what we do with educators and their students is how the creative process comes full circle. 

My students are often my research participants. I learn from and with them.

I partner with multiple school districts to conduct professional development or research the impact of coaching on teacher development and student learning. We could not contribute to the national and international dialogue on multilingual teacher preparation without our partnerships.

I am researching coach preparation with district coaches and teacher learning using a three-year sequence of professional learning. This intensive summer seminar (24-30 hours each) is followed by six cycles of coaching across the school year. The seminars focus in turn on pedagogy, differentiation, and culturally sustaining curriculum.

Conversation with Professor Annela Teemant

On Friday, March 24, 2023 from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m., Professor Annela Teemant talked about "Reframing Teacher Learning as a Mirrored Process of Becoming." English learners make up 10.4% of the U.S. student population. Professor Teemant's research focuses on preparing teachers for these learners using critical sociocultural perspectives on teaching and learning. Using quasi-experimental, qualitative, and mixed methods research designs, she studies how teacher pedagogy, job-embedded coaching, and in-service teacher credentialing impact student (language) learning.