Teacher preparation for culturally and linguistically diverse communities is crucial as classrooms become increasingly diverse. This study reports on the interaction between 20 pre-service teachers (PSTs) and adult emergent bilinguals during a community-based service-learning (CBSL) project. The project was part of a course offered at a state university in the northeastern USA. The qualitative data demonstrated that the PSTs gained sociolinguistic consciousness, learned about language learners' prior experiences and linguistic proficiencies, and identified the linguistic demands of the interaction. The study also revealed that CBSL projects can possibly be an effective means of teacher preparation for emergent bilinguals worldwide.