Language diversity has never been more real in classrooms around the world. With globalization comes increased mobility, and the language of instruction may not be the one our students choose when they think; speak to their parents, grandparents, and friends; watch TV; read; and listen to music. Acknowledging our students’ language backgrounds and experiences can be powerful: Not only does it contribute to fostering a sense of belonging, but also it supports learners in building their self-identity and celebrating each other’s differences. The question is: How can we do it in a meaningful and engaging way?
For years, state and local education leaders have known of a shortage of certified bilingual educators who would be qualified to teach in dual language immersion schools. It’s why researchers at The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank, recently published a report exploring sustainable pathways from across the country for helping more individuals get their certification to become bilingual teachers.
As educators, we want to provide the necessary avenues that young children require to develop into happy, empathetic, kind individuals. Nature is full of awe-inspiring beauty, and we simply need to take advantage of the opportunity of exposing children to its boundless experiences. Nature provokes children into action to formulate their own ideas and self-guided investigations. When children are fully immersed and exposed to experiences with nature, they’re given an open invitation for free adventure.
Audubon Elementary offers several unique options for students including a gardening club and English language learners program.
Several years ago, Larry Ferlazzo interviewed Zaretta Hammond about the elements of culturally responsive teaching. Today, she’s back, and this time, she’s here to discuss the common mistakes when doing it.
Two bills currently before the Michigan Senate would require state departments to provide translation services for people with limited English in most circumstances.
Nestled between a nondescript section of route 40 and the Patapsco River in Catonsville, Md., lies a 33-acre plot of land owned by Baltimore City Public Schools. Called the Great Kids Farm, the land serves as an outdoor classroom for students in the urban district.
Elana Rabinowitz is an ESL teacher and coordinator at Middle School 113 The Ronald Edmonds Learning Center in Brooklyn. In recent years, many of her students have been recent arrivals to the United States — children from asylum-seeking families who fled violence and economic hardship. Some of them had been out of school for months or years as they made their way to the U.S. Rabinowitz wants them to feel comfortable sharing their stories and identities. As soon as a new student is placed in her class, Rabinowitz buys a flag from their country of origin. But she wants them to feel at home in New York City, too, so she decorates her classroom with cozy secondhand furniture she finds at stoop sales.
To get kids wielding academic and discipline-specific vocabulary, they need to observe words in context as they read, talk, and write about topics and concepts — and receive explicit instruction. Adapting strategies that work well for English learners can be a highly effective way to teach all students academic vocabulary, suggest educators Tan Huynh and Beth Skelton, authors of the recently published book Long-Term Success for Experienced Multilinguals.