The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

John Eller

Second Advisor

David O. Lund

Third Advisor

Frances Kayona

Fourth Advisor

James R. Johnson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Language Immersion Programs, Chinese Immersion Programs, Chinese Immersion Teachers, Immersion Teacher Education, Chinese Immersion Teacher Preparation, Chinese Immersion Teacher Training


With the rapid development of language immersion programs in the U.S., the number of Chinese immersion programs has grown to 343 in 2021. Chinese immersion programs demand more Chinese immersion teachers who are capable of using the Chinese language to conduct both language and content teaching. However, a review of literature suggested that limited teacher education programs were founded that focused specifically on immersion, or Chinese immersion education. Moreover, literature review found that there are limited understandings on the Chinese immersion teachers’ perceptions and needs on their teacher education programs.

To address this knowledge gap, this quailitative study selectively interviewed a diverse group of Chinese immersion teachers in the U.S. The guided interview explored the teachers’ perceptions of their pre-service teacher preparation and in-service training programs. This study focused on identifying the aspects that were beneficial and needed to support these teachers. The findings from this research could benefit both the Chinese immersion programs and teacher education programs by understanding how teacher preparation and training could improve the overall effectiveness of both teachers and immersion programs.


I appreciate the journey of completing this doctorate study not only because of the knowledge and research methodology I learned, but the help and support I received throughout this experience. Most importantly, the love from my family have always been the foundation of every single one of my achievements.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Dr. John Eller, for his guidance throughout this program. I appreciate his support and help on refining the research questions, methodologies, analyses, and the final presentation of this dissertation. I would like to acknowledge my committee members, including Dr. David Lund, Dr. Frances Kayona, and Dr. James Johnson, for their meaningful inputs, which greatly improved the clarity, comprehensiveness, and rigor of this research.

I would also like to acknowledge Dr. Roger Worner and Dr. Kay Worner for the valuable knowledge learned from their classes, and my fellow doctoral cohort for the meaningful discussions, which were important inspirations of this research. I greatly appreciate the help from Michelle Braun-Heurung in the Educational Administration and Leadership Program for helping me coordinate and sort out the logistics throughout this program. I feel grateful for the help received from the Center for International Studies at the St. Cloud State University. I would also like to thank the participants of this study, for their meaningful reflections throughout this study.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge that part of the findings from this dissertation research has been published in the following peer-reviewed journal, preprint database, and conference proceeding, with permission to reuse in this dissertation from:

Chen, M. (2022). A Review of the Contemporary Challenges Faced by Chinese Immersion Education and Its Related Teacher Preparations in the United States. Journal of Education, In Press, DOI: 10.1177/00220574221075199

Chen, M., Li, J., & Gorke, Y. Z. (2022). Chinese Immersion Teachers in the U.S: Perceptions and Needs on Their Teacher Preparation Programs. SocArXiv, DOI: 10.31235/

Chen M., & Li J. (2022). Language Immersion in the USA: Characteristics, Challenges, and Recommendations Related to Teacher Education, The Asian Conference on Education & International Development 2022 Official Conference Proceedings, DOI: 10.22492/issn.2189-101X.2022.22



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