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Foreign Language Annals





This study explored the experiences of five Latinx Spanish teachers who worked in schools in rural North Carolina and South Carolina. Using data from 25 semistructured interviews and publicly available school/community demographic information, this qualitative multiple‐case study sought to answer the following questions: (a) How do Latinx Spanish teachers in the rural South perceive experiences that help or hinder retention? (b) In what ways are Latinx Spanish teachers navigating their role as advocates for linguistic and cultural diversity in their rural schools and communities? Findings showed that participants were constantly balancing the benefits and challenges of their work in a rural area. Due to the racialized nature of the Spanish language, participants reported instances of Spanish being conflated with immigration which resulted in hostility from both students and adults. Nonetheless, participants felt a sense of responsibility in providing their students with exposure to cultures outside of their own cultural setting. As working conditions can have a profound effect on a teacher's decision to stay in the classroom, the findings suggest that emphasizing the positive aspects of teaching in a challenging context may encourage teacher retention.


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