Different writers, linguists, and researchers present nuances in language acquisition theories. However, few studies explore in-service teachers’ voices in such discourses. It is, therefore, imperative to explore the voices of in-service teachers in such narratives as they teach emergent bilinguals (EBs) and culturally and linguistically diverse students. This paper examined how in-service teachers perceive First Language Acquisition (FLA) theories and how those perceptions influence teaching EBs and informing classroom practice. Centering on Freeman and Freeman’s discussion of five FLA theories (imitation, reinforcement, behaviorist, social interaction, active construction, connectionist), we argue that in-service teachers’ perceptions of first language acquisition theories impact how they teach and engage EBs in their classrooms. Findings show that in-service teachers consider the social interaction theory most beneficial to students’ language development. However, the precariousness of FLA theories makes it challenging for them to determine the best approach to teaching EBs. Additionally, teacher education programs and critical professional development (PD) courses are instrumental in fostering understanding and robust pedagogical mindsets and preparing teachers to meet the needs of emergent bilinguals.
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