Invitations for further engagement with chapter ideas
- Study a school with diverse student population to which you have access to and find out how many different home languages the students speak and how the school meets the needs of these students. Do the school and classroom environments reflect the diverse backgrounds of the students including their heritage languages, their home cultures and community lives?
- Does the school have bilingual programs? How are emergent bilinguals served in these bilingual programs?
- How about an ESL program? How do the ESL teachers work with their multilingual students?
- Are there bilingual books in different languages in the school or classroom library on different subjects and topics? Are there reference books such as picture or bilingual dictionaries accessible to students?
- Are there word walls, posters, study guides and classroom rules, announcement and students’ work written in multiple language in the classrooms?
- How is the parent involvement with the school? Is the school a place welcoming to the parents, especially those who don’t share a mainstream culture and language with the school?
- Closely study a school to which you have access and reflect on aspects that may be welcoming or unwelcoming to emergent and experienced bilinguals. Observe events and situations in different settings and contexts within and around the school community (e.g. classroom sessions, cafeteria, outdoor recess, faculty meetings, sport teams, student clubs). Also, examine what is on the bookshelves and what is placed on hallway and classroom walls. In addition, look into how instruction and schedules are shaped for students identified as English Learners. Consider:
- Are there opportunities for bilingual students to see, hear, use their heritage languages as part of their school learning activities (bilingual books, oral use in classrooms, use in own writing, school walls)?
- Are there any bilingual adults in the school? Who? How and when are their languages visible during the school day?
- What is the faculty's background (formal education/certification, professional development, experience) in working with emergent bilinguals?
- How are emergent bilinguals included or excluded/segregated during the day?
- How are students' cultural lives and knowledge engaged in the classroom and the school community at large?
- Conduct a study of a classroom instruction with linguistically diverse students. After responding to the questions below, Consider and propose changes to better support the learning of emergent bilinguals in this school.
- How does the curriculum reflect the diverse backgrounds of the students?
- What strategies does the teacher use to engage all students in their learning?
- Does the teacher provide opportunities and space for students to have language choice in their learning? If so, how does he/she do it?
- How does the teacher group the students to ensure that all students can participate in their group work and discussion?
- Do the teachers and staff in the building collaborate to support the steady learning progress of their emergent bilingual students?
- In this video from Media that Matters, we follow Moises, an emergent bilingual student who struggles to communicate in his new school with limited access to his native language.
What are some structural changes his school could implement to better support his learning?
resources for further Reading/viewing
- Witt, D. & Mehr, M. (2012). School Leaders and Bilingualism.
- Garcia, O., & Kleyn, T. (2016). Translanguaging with Multilingual Students: Learning from classroom moments. NewYork: Rourtledge.
- Verplaetse, L. S., & Migliacci, N. (2008). Inclusive pedogogy for English language learners: A handbook of research-informed practice. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- CUNY-NYSIEB.CUNY NYSIEB:
CUNY-NYSIEB Webinars: Teaching Practices and Translanguaging Pedagogy