Since parental engagement in children's schooling is known to improve their academic achievement, it is important to know what characterizes those teachers who provide relevant parental support. This study of 34 US elementary-school ESL teachers found that, while of those teachers who engaged in advocacy for and support of immigrant families, most were multilingual and could communicate with them, a small number of monolingual teachers also acted as advocates. What characterized these advocate teachers was intercultural competence (Byram, 1997), gained through substantial intercultural experiences. On this basis, suggestions are made for school organization and ESL teacher recruitment and preparation.
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