Promoting social inclusion,    understanding, and mutual respect   for English Language Learners

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Promoting social inclusion,    understanding, and mutual respect   for English Language Learners by Mind Map: Promoting social inclusion,    understanding, and mutual respect   for English Language Learners

1. Know your students

1.1. Who: Teachers, principals, resources specialists and anyone else working with students. What: Get to know your students, not only to asses their English language proficiency, but also academic experiences, cultural and religious traditions, hobbies, personality, family circumstances, and any other information about your student's home community or native country. Ask students through interactive games, ask families, fellow teachers and community as well. Find out about cultural 'do's and don'ts'. Where: If appropriate, schedule a home visit. Other options include attending school-site multicultural or events. In your classroom, plan activities where students get to share with a partner or small group When: Preferably starting at the beginning of the school year, or whenever a new student joins your class. Getting to know you activities should be ongoing throughout the year. Why: Getting to know your students creates more opportunities for teachers to meet students needs and be aware of any challenges the student may face. It also creates a welcoming environment and helps to build your student's self esteem. How: Incorporate icebreakers or getting to know you games. Ask questions and provide different ways for the student to elaborate on answers (verbally, artistically, written). Find ways to earn students trust by sharing your own cultural background.

1.2. "It sounds so simple, but if we as teachers put more effort into who we are teaching, more of the what would take care of itself. " – Katie, Elementary Teacher

1.3. Recognize the collectivist values as well as helpfulness and interdependence of the Mexican culture.

1.4. Filipino American family relationships are also interdependent, and family members depend upon each other for support. According to this Research Link article, these relationships are based on the concept of utang ng loob (reciprocal relationships). This is a debt of gratitude you have for others. It is often not clear when a debt has been fully paid, so the relationship is ongoing

2. Honor the home language

2.1. Who: Teachers, parents, students What: Honor the student's home language by incorporating words and phrases into instruction when possible. Provide opportunities for students to express themselves in their home language, by having students work in small groups. Where: In the classroom, during lunch and and through teacher - parent interactions When: Incorporate and honor each students home language and culture throughout the year. Meet small groups of students for lunch and schedule extra time during parent-teacher conferences to gain a deeper understanding of verbal and nonverbal language as well as cultural differences. Why: By honoring a student's home language, and creating opportunities for the student to share stories, and by sharing your own cultural stories, teachers can build a relationship with the students that can provide the emotional scaffolding necessary for students to overcome barriers cultural and linguistic differences present. How: Include plenty of opportunities for sharing in small groups either in the classroom or during lunch or breaks.

2.2. Filipino students may be reluctant speaking out in the classroom. Filipino culture emphasizes obedience and respect which is essential for teachers to understand as they work with these students. Small group talks can provide an important opportunity for students to express themselves without the stress or pressure of talking in front of the entire class.   If you have more than one student from a Spanish-speaking family, provide time for them to speak with one another on a topic in their home language.

3. Examine your cultural bias

3.1. Who: Teachers What: Take a closer look at your own culture and be aware of cultural biases, preferences and stereotypes that might exist. Where: At home, in the class and throughout your normal daily activities. Bring it to the forefront of your attention so that you can be aware of any cultural biases you may harbor. When: Always. But realistically, pay close attention when you're getting to know your student at the beginning and mindfully set checks to revisit throughout the year. Why: Stereotypes and biases can be made subconsciously or automatically. Being aware of this possibility helps you understand where they come from and how they might be reinforced. How: Read up on your culture and be aware of your values and preferences. Take a hidden bias test.

3.2. For both Mexican and Filipino groups, this is an important step to not only look at your own cultural preferences but you can watch for differences and similarities between your culture and these. This link shows 5 cultural view points for American, Mexican and Filipino cultures.

4. Find ways for students to express themselves

4.1. Who: Teachers, parents, community members. What: Provide multiple opportunities for students to express themselves. Provide opportunities for students to express themselves through drawings, collages, music or other art projects. Where: In the classroom, as a possible homework assignment (where family members could be involved) and in extracurricular activities. When: Provide opportunities for student expression throughout the school year, with an emphasis at the beginning of the year to help the student gain confidence and a sense of belonging. Why: By creating opportunities for the student to express their feelings and stories in different ways, and by sharing your own cultural stories, teachers can build a relationship with the student that can provide the emotional scaffolding necessary for students to overcome barriers cultural and linguistic differences. How: Include a variety of ways for self expression into lesson plans and participate in the activities yourself.

4.2. Be mindful of differences in nonverbal language. Filipinos often use their eyes, lips, and hands to convey a wide range of messages. Raised eyebrows and a smile indicate a silent "hello" or a "yes" in answer to a question. Cooking can be a way of expression, you could invite your Mexican students to share stories through a recipe or pictures of cooking with family.

5. Ensure your class environment is multiculturally representative

5.1. Who: Teachers, librarians What: Make sure the books, media, images and class projects are representative of the variety of cultural backgrounds of your students. Where: In the classroom, school events, libraries and anywhere else an educator has control over the aesthetic learning environment. When: Before school starts so that it creates a welcoming environment. Books and illustrations can always be added to address specific cultures that aren't represented. Why: By ensuring English learners have multiple ways to identify with characters/ pictures/language present in their environment, students are apt to feel confident and connected. How: Assess your library and materials before school starts to ensure a wide variety of cultural backgrounds are represented. Click on the link to this worksheet to help.

5.2. In addition to displaying images and having multicultural books on hand, it's important to be accepting and welcoming of food choices for any classroom celebrations. Pancit (noodles that symbolize longevity)  and lumpia (egg rolls) are both staples of any Filipino celebration. It's important to talk about food that might be at a celebration before hand so that students who are used to having cupcakes and juice, don't make derogatory comments about the food choices.  Similarly, Mexican families might not to sign up to bring food to a celebration, but in my experience will supply an abundance of home baked goods, different than cupcakes or store bought cookies. Discussing recipes is a great way to include and value families from different cultural backgrounds.