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Rural education is faced with a serious teacher shortage, specifically FL educators. FL enrollments are increasing at both the K-12 and higher education levels as the number of qualified FL teachers is decreasing rapidly. The purpose of this study was to recruit undergraduate students into language teaching by investigating students’ perceptions of second language learning and becoming a FL teacher in a rural context. Two quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews with undergraduates in second-and third-semester FL courses at a western university were used to evaluate this group as a potential pool from which to recruit rural FL educators. Working through Posner et al.’s (1982) Conceptual Change Model, students were invited to participate in a teacher recruitment event. Later, 15 students changed majors to become FL educators. This article details the project and provides recommendations for not only the recruitment of language teachers but for all teachers regardless of content area specialty.


Originally published in:

Swanson, P. (2011). Conceptual change as an agent for teacher recruitment. ERS Spectrum. 29(2), 27-38.