With the growing number of multilingual learners (MLs) in U.S. schools, research relating to effective teacher training methods has gathered increased interest; however, research on how teachers’ background qualities (BQs) influence teaching practices for MLs is lacking. In the field of multilingual education, scholars have suggested that certain qualities, particularly cultural and linguistic backgrounds, contribute to effectively accounting for MLs in the content classroom and embracing the role of language teacher. In this study we draw upon in-class comments, classroom interactions, targeted interviews, and assignments from teachers-in-training (N=12) throughout one semester in a history teaching methods course to address the following research question: How do prospective teachers’ language-related BQs (i.e. ML-related education, cultural experiences, language learning experience, and teaching experience) shape how they approach ML-related activities and assignments in a content methods teacher education course? The data indicate that preservice teachers with these BQs were better prepared to embrace their roles as language teachers and tailor lessons for MLs than their peers without such BQs.