Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Teaching: Theories, Beliefs, and Practice

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Teaching CAP presentation for Regis University. By Nicole Hurd

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Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Teaching: Theories, Beliefs, and Practice by Mind Map: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Teaching: Theories, Beliefs, and Practice

1. Belief 1: I believe that teachers need to regularly reflect on their practice in order to create an equitable and rigorous learning environment.

1.1. Curriculum and Assessment

1.1.1. Formative and Informative Assessments with CLD supports allows teachers to gather a body of evidence that showcases their student's learning - it becomes a true representation of the student's strengths, abilities, and growth as a learner. Important aspects of any assessment are reliability and validity. When assessments are reliable all educators and stakeholders have confidence in the data. It is also important to have authentic assessments that have roots in real-life experiences because "authenticity not only carries face validity but is of value in and of itself" (Gottlieb, 2006, p. 113). "...many concerns over the reliability and validity of assessments for ELLs are due, in part, to students' lack of familiarity with the linguistic features embedded in English tests. One reason it is so challenging to assess ELLs accurately is that the field has not yet developed a precise test of language proficiency" (Pollock & , 2008, p. 102-102), which is why WIDA's "Can Do" descriptors are so important to use. "Nondiscriminatory assessment practices include a variety of tasks, and practitioners must be cognizant of the fact that some progress monitoring practices may not be appropriate for use with culturally and linguistically diverse students since they may yield unreliable and invalid results" (Pollock & , 2008, p. 89)

1.1.2. Teachers also need to create curriculum that represents how academic standards and WIDA standards connect. Making connections allows teachers to see what their students "can do" and monitor their progress with the common core academic standards and WIDA standards ("can do" descriptors).

1.2. The Empowered Practitioner

1.2.1. Action Research "An action researcher continually learners from her teaching throughout her career and thus develops the skills and practices of systematic critical inquiry. It is asking the basic question: How well are my students learning what I am teaching?"(Echevarría & Graves, 2015, p. 148). "...teacher research has a primary purpose of helping the teacher-researcher understand her students and improve her practice in specific, concrete way" (Shagoury & Power, 2012, p. 4). Being an action researcher helped me implement more cooperative learning structures, student-led conversations, and teacher modeling.

1.2.2. PLC "Professional learning communities are developed by the teacher themselves in an effort to improve their own instruction as well as to respond to learners and their families, particularly those students who are not thriving in school" (Echevarría & Graves, 2015, p. 148). PLCs are critical for school cultures to be better responsive to all students.

1.2.3. Reflection "It is continuous-recognition that best practices of good instruction is spread by teachers watching one another teach and collaborating to improve their instruction"(Stewart, 2012, p. 108). Teachers are expected to reflect on their practice once a term at Hidden Lake High school. In my own practice I reflect before, during, and after every lesson and unit I teach. I also reflect with other teachers as we co-plan and create curriculum.

2. Belief 2: I believe teachers need to view a student holistically in order to effectively enable the student to build on what they “can do.”

2.1. The CLD Student

2.1.1. It is difficult to learn a second language (L2), so motivation is key for students to have as they acquire the L2, "Teachers need to make a positive contribution to students' motivation to learn if classrooms are a place that students enjoy coming to because the content is interesting and relevant to their age and level of ability, the learning goals are challenging yet manageable and clear, and the atmosphere is supportive" (Lightbrown & Spada, 2013. p. 88). ELL students need to be given scaffolds and multiple supports that help them access complex texts and content. Another aspect that is important for planning with ELLs in mind is figuring out what proficiency looks like and/or sounds like in the activity or assignment. Teachers can guide their learners by knowing what scaffolds and support they need to use, and also how and when to gradually remove them away. It is important to help ELL students make connections to what they are reading and learning, and provide authentic learning opportunities.

2.1.2. ELL students need to be given multiple opportunities to interact with the teacher and their peers, "...when learners are given the opportunity to engage in interaction, they are compelled to negotiate for meaning, that is, to express and clarify their intentions, thoughts and opinions, etc., in a way that permits them to arrive at mutual understanding"(Lightbrown & Spada, 2013. p. 165). The more ELL students interact in their L2 the more proficient they will become at acquiring proficiency in writing, reading, speaking, and listening. "When students are working or playing together, their conversations are based on concrete, here-and-now topics of current interest. As a result, opportunity abounds for them to negotiate meaning through requests for clarification, reference to objects at hand, and other face-to-face communication strategies. to optimize classroom oral language learning opportunities, it's important to provide time each day for students to talk to each other while working in a variety of situations..." (Peregoy & Boyle, 2017, p. 165).

2.1.3. It is important to view a student holistically, so that teachers can build on what a student's assets and not their deficits, "Encourage students to demonstrate content knowledge, skills, and abilities, regardless of level of language proficiency, using a variety of differentiated performance-based and authentic assessments" (Fairbairn & Jones-Vo, 2010, p. 57). This provides students with the motivation to help them push through when learning becomes difficult. This also helps students feel supportive because they can see that their teacher believes in their ability to learn. Mind Map: Character Development Mind Map: Back

2.1.4. Some strategies I use in my classroom is color coding as they annotate a complex text. When my students complete a first read of a complex text they highlight words that are unfamiliar to them. Then with a partner they create a glossary that has the word, the definition(s) in their own words, and a picture/image that represents the word. Finally, students give me five words they struggled with the most and from that I create a word wall. Word Wall ELLs need exposure to complex text because it allows them to see how academic language is used, "Simplified texts offer no clue as to what academic language sounds like or how it works"(Wong Fillmore & Fillmore, p. 2). One way to support ELLs it to look at one sentence at a time. Choosing the "juicy" sentences can really help students understand the text.

2.1.5. Students need to also know and be able to understand the learning/content objective. So, making sure they are clear and easy to understand is essential. When students have a clear understanding of the what they will be doing, will need to be able to do, and need to understand helps my ELLs work through directions, especially since my ELLs sometimes struggle with the language used in the directions.

2.2. Responsive Pedagogy and instructional Strategies

2.2.1. I also important to use scaffolds like sentence frames/starters, exemplars, and rubrics to support ELL students. However, it is also important to slowly take supports away as ELL students do not need them and become more proficient in speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Other strategies that work well with ELL students are the use of graphic organizers or mind maps. These strategies allow students to access complex texts and content.

2.2.2. It is also important for teacher to use their students Funds-of-Knowledge as assets that can help students access background information on build on their strengths, “Through discussions, teachers tap into students’ knowledge and experience, listen to their ideas, and encourage them to express themselves. As a result, teachers develop a sensitivity to and an awareness of learners’ needs and are better able to support their learning (Echevarría & Graves, 2015, p. 86).

2.2.3. Teaching grammar to ELLs is different than native speakers because native speakers focus on the formal rules of grammar, where "grammar for ELLs should then focus on how to correctly construct phrases and sentences that best express the ELLs intended message" (Folse & Goussakova, 2009, p. 2). This means that we also need to scaffold the grammar lessons depending on their language proficiency and tech on grammar point at a time. It is also important for the teacher and their ELL students to understand the common mistakes made or why it may be difficult for ELLs to learn a grammar point being taught. Furthermore, it is important to understand the grammar rules in other languages and they could interfere when learning English grammar rules. In my class I use these similarities and differences to help teach grammar by showing and discussing how they are different or similar through modeling and examples. “Focus error correction on specific, level appropriate aspects of language” (Fairbairn & Jones-Vo, 2010, p 58).

3. Belief 3: I believe that it is essential to have a culturally responsive classroom in order to foster student learning and growth.

3.1. The Community Context

3.1.1. To build a culturally responsive classroom teachers need to get get to know their students and their families, "It is imperative that teachers create environments that help newcomers feel at ease...teachers must be welcoming and supportive in order to help students to feel comfortable so that they can untimely acquire the linguistic and academic knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to be successful" (Fairbairn & Jones-Vo, 2010, p. 43). I connect with my students by having conversations with them and have students participate in activities that allow everyone to get to know each other. This creates an atmosphere of safety and trust. “It’s an effort to connect with even the most withdrawn families, who might have immigration difficulties or perhaps feel spurned by the public school system. Such parents are often uncomfortable at a school conference or open house…” (Sieff, 2011, p. 1). It is also important to reach out to parents through phone calls, e-mails, home visits, school meetings or events, “The more teachers know about students’ individual cultures, the better equipped they are to interact in meaningful and productive ways with their students and their families” (Fairbairn & Jones-Vo, 2010, p. 11). "A general rule for improved communication with individuals from other cultures is to soften direct communication that can be perceived as rude in favor of more tentative and indirect language, particularly when asking about personal information” (Fairbairn & Jones-Vo, 2010, p. 27). A student’s heritage might impact their perspective of the world, “Teachers must keep in mind that even in science, culture influences our perceptions of the world and it is our responsibility to honor students’ heritage” (Gottlieb, 2006, p 71). Furthermore, it is important for teachers to see their student's family culture, native language, and their needs as assets because teachers often oversimplify ELLs needs and perceive them as deficits, rather than searching for the assets they bring, and utilize these assets in the classroom.

3.1.2. Lau v Nichols This court case established that language language minorities who are not proficient in English. students who spoke a minority were necessary to create equity in educational opportunities. The ruling showed the school district and the rest of the United States that providing a student with the same teachers, curricula, facilities, textbooks, etc. does not mean equal education. Furthermore, this case showed the public that it is the district’s responsibility to take affirmative steps to provide instruction that would rectify English language deficiencies.

4. By: Nicole Hurd

5. References

5.1. Baker, C. (2011). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism (5th ed). Buffalo, NY: Multilingual Matters.

5.1.1. Echevarría Jana, & Graves, A. W. (2015). Sheltered content instruction: teaching English learners with diverse abilities (5th). Boston: Pearson.

5.2. Fairbairn, S., & Jones-Vo, S. (2010). Differentiating instruction and assessment for English language learners: A guide for K-12 teachers. Philadelphia: Caslon Pub.

5.2.1. Folse, K. S., & Goussakova, E. V. (2009). Keys to teaching grammar to English language learners. Ann Arbor, Mich: Univ. of Michigan Press.

5.3. Gottlieb, M. (2006). Assessing English language learners: bridges from language proficiency to academic achievement. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin.

5.3.1. Klingner, J. K., Hoover, J. J., & Baca, L. (2008). Why do English language learners struggle with reading?: distinguishing language acquisition from learning disabilities. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

5.4. Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2018). How languages are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

5.4.1. Peregoy, S. F., & Boyle, O. (2017). Reading, writing, and learning in Esl: a resource book for teaching K-12 English learners (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

5.5. Shagoury, R., & Power, B. M. (2012). Living the questions: a guide for teacher-researchers (2nd ed.). Portland, Me.: Stenhouse Publishers.

5.5.1. Sieff, K. (2011, October 9). Teachers increasingly seek home visits to connect with students' families. The Washington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2019

5.6. Stewart, V. (2012). A world-class education: learning from international models of excellence and innovation. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

5.6.1. Stewner-Manzanares, G. (1988). The Bilingual Education Act: Twenty Years Later. New Focus, (6).

5.7. United States Supreme Court: Lau v. Nichols, 1974. (2015). Retrieved October 6, 2015.

5.7.1. Wong Fillmore, L., & Fillmore, C. J. (n.d.). What does text complexity mean for English learners and language minority students? Understanding Language: Language, Literacy, and Learning in the Content Areas .

5.8. Zwiers, J., O'Hara, S., & Pritchard, R. H. (2014). Common core standards in diverse classrooms: essential practices for developing academic language and disciplinary literacy /​. Place of publication not identified: Stenhouse Publishers.