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Living Linguistic Diversity in the Classroom: A Teacher Inductee Explores Dual Language Books



This article addresses strategies for promoting culturally responsive pedagogy through the implementation of a language awareness curriculum that includes a structured reading intervention program using dual language books. The research builds on the premise that resources such as dual language books can give teachers the opportunity to effectively implement strategies in multilingual/multicultural classrooms that build on children's cultural capital and create a stronger learning community. Through a longitudinal study, the researcher followed the trajectory of one teacher inductee to examine how her involvement with this project prepared her to work with and teach in a multilingual/multicultural setting of diverse learners. The article examines the following 2 questions: (a) How are teachers being prepared to work within culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms, and (b) What role can dual language books play in the diverse classroom of a pre-service/first-year teacher?
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Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education
ISSN: 1559-5692 (Print) 1559-5706 (Online) Journal homepage:
Living Linguistic Diversity in the Classroom: A
Teacher Inductee Explores Dual Language Books
Rahat Naqvi & Christina Pfitscher
To cite this article: Rahat Naqvi & Christina Pfitscher (2011) Living Linguistic Diversity in the
Classroom: A Teacher Inductee Explores Dual Language Books, Diaspora, Indigenous, and
Minority Education, 5:4, 235-244, DOI: 10.1080/15595692.2011.606004
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Published online: 11 Oct 2011.
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Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, 5: 235–244, 2011
Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 1559-5692 print / 1559-5706 online
DOI: 10.1080/15595692.2011.606004
Living Linguistic Diversity in the Classroom: A Teacher
Inductee Explores Dual Language Books
Rahat Naqvi and Christina Pfitscher
Faculty of Education
University of Calgary, Canada
This article addresses strategies for promoting culturally responsive pedagogy through the imple-
mentation of a language awareness curriculum that includes a structured reading intervention
program using dual language books. The research builds on the premise that resources such
as dual language books can give teachers the opportunity to effectively implement strategies in
multilingual/multicultural classrooms that build on children’s cultural capital and create a stronger
learning community. Through a longitudinal study, the researcher followed the trajectory of one
teacher inductee to examine how her involvement with this project prepared her to work with and
teach in a multilingual/multicultural setting of diverse learners. The article examines the follow-
ing 2 questions: (a) How are teachers being prepared to work within culturally and linguistically
diverse classrooms, and (b) What role can dual language books play in the diverse classroom of a
pre-service/first-year teacher?
This article addresses strategies for promoting culturally responsive pedagogy through the imple-
mentation of a language awareness curriculum that includes a structured reading intervention
program using dual language books. Shifting demographic transformations in Canada have gen-
erated unique challenges in kindergarten through Grade-12 (K–12) education, where teachers
are encountering students and families of increasingly diverse cultural backgrounds, languages,
literacies, expectations, and needs. This challenge is pronounced for primary teachers who assist
learners to negotiate the juncture from home to school environments.
White, middle class, heterosexual, able-bodied, Christian and Canadian-born women dom-
inate the Canadian teaching profession, especially at the elementary level (Bascia, 1996). To
redress the increasing separation between teachers and the students they serve, over the past
decade, Faculties of Education have been accepting increasing number of immigrant teacher
candidates (Association of Universities and Colleges Canada, 2007). Yet, even when recruited, in
2007 only 7% of so-called new Canadian teachers found regular teaching jobs in Ontario public
schools, for example, as compared to 29% of graduates overall. Therefore, despite growing diver-
sity among students and teacher candidate populations, teacher education programs continue to
privilege a limited spectrum of cultural knowledge and ways of knowing (Myles, Cheng, &
Correspondence should be sent to Rahat Naqvi, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW,
Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4. E-mail:
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Wang, 2006; Putnam & Borko, 2000). The United States is facing similar challenges, where,
in 1998, over 37% of the K–12 student population were culturally, linguistically, and ethnically
different from the dominant White, English-speaking U.S. culture, whereas about 87% of the
U.S. teaching population were White and over 70% women (Office of Education Research and
Information, 2001; Rimbach & Gebeloff, 2000). These numbers indicate a cultural and linguistic
mismatch between teachers and the families they serve.
Universities and their pre-service programs are a logical place to begin to redress these prob-
lems. In her review of pre-service education and cultural diversity in North America, Sleeter
(2001) concluded that, “as a whole ...pre-service teachers bring very little cross-cultural back-
ground, knowledge, and experience ... (p. 95). Schultz, Neyhart, and Reck (1996) found
that pre-service student teachers were naive and had stereotypic beliefs about urban children,
including beliefs about cultural attitudes interfering with education. Su (1996) found that ...
pre-service teachers interpreted social change as any kind of change except the altering of struc-
tural inequalities. This pervasive disjuncture between teacher and student cultures has fuelled
calls for increased diversity and equity when preparing teachers for the 21st century (Banks,
2001; Dana & Lynch-Brown, 1993; Grant & Secada, 1990; Ladson-Billings, 1994). Banks went
beyond the idea of mere acceptance of diversity; he challenged teacher education institutions to
prepare teachers as “cultural mediators who interpret t he mainstream and marginalized cultures
to students from diverse groups and help students understand the desirability of and possibility
for social change” (p. 240).
Yet, even more challenging to a culturally responsive teaching agenda is the fact that most
professional teachers were educated in previous decades where the encounter with diversity edu-
cation theories, research, and methods and diverse colleagues and professors were even less
likely. Indeed, Volante and Earl (2002) found that even when university programs developed
leading-edge pre-service teacher diversity education, in-service teacher mentors and schools
often derailed teacher candidates’ emerging culturally responsive attitudes during practicum
placement experiences.
Therefore, we embarked on a longitudinal study to examine how pre- and in-service primary
teachers can be better prepared to work with linguistically and culturally diverse learners.
Specifically, the research investigated how the introduction of a dual language book literacy
program for young children might support pre-service and in-service teachers to generate
multilingual environments and literacy acquisition, despite the disjuncture between teacher and
learners’ backgrounds. The research attempted to bridge pre-service and in-service professional
development environments by focusing on the experiences of a cohort of teachers within a
unique multilingual/multicultural education specialization directly involved in the implementa-
tion of multilingual literacy programs that exposed them to a variety of scripts, conventions, and
literacy practices.
For longitudinal data, we focused on one cohort teacher in particular—one of the authors,
Christina Pfitscher—as she transitioned from pre-service education to in-service t eaching and,
eventually, to graduate education. Throughout the article, we showcase Christina’s observations
and narratives. Being multilingual and having immigrated with her family as a child herself, she
was able to consider multiple perspectives—both teaching and home contexts—that impacted the
research. The research evolved around two principal questions: (a) How can we prepare teacher
inductees to teach more effectively within culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms?, and
(b) What role can dual language books play in the diverse classrooms of teacher inductees?
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Teacher Education and Language Awareness
Unless their home language is similar to that spoken in the school, students will face addi-
tional, complex issues in adjusting to school entry (Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005).
Therefore, Benson (2004) highlighted the i mportance of preparing large numbers of bilingual
and multilingual teachers who are better prepared to understand and empathize with culturally
and linguistically diverse students. Multilingual and intercultural awareness have been identified
as key qualities required for the development of both English as an additional language and cul-
tural competencies in teachers (MacPherson, Turner, & Mody, 2005; Trumbull & Pacheco, 2005).
Accordingly, long-term multicultural and multilingual sustainability for individuals, families,
communities, schools, and nations requires a firm foundation in multilingual and intercultural
awareness and values instilled in schools.
Hélot and Young (2006) found few supports in the French curriculum to deal with linguistic
and cultural diversity. According to Hélot and Young, teachers can learn to be more effective
professionals when they are made aware of the abundance of languages spoken and cultures
represented by human beings. Building on this awareness, teachers need to generate strategies
that recognize multiple linguistic realities. Garcia, Skutnabb-Kangas, and Gúzman (2006) further
argued that multilingual schools need to include critical language awareness involving multilin-
gual and intercultural elements. To accomplish these ends, teachers can be taught to reflect on
their own language-learning experiences. As an example, Hélot and Young authored the Eveil
aux langues and Janua Linguarum European projects (Candelier, 2003a, 2003b) and the Swiss
Eveil au langage, Ouverture aux langues (Eole) project (Perregaux, De Goumoens, Jeannot, &
De Pietro, 2003), which had as a major objective to demonstrate a model for language awareness
curricula. The materials developed through these projects contain activities aimed at fostering
positive attitudes toward different languages, their speakers, and their cultures. These multilin-
gual activities include using a second language (L2) to teach a curricular subject or offering
pupils the opportunity to use their first language for specific activities.
Language awareness fills a gap in teacher education well beyond the teaching of a L2:
It builds bridges between languages themselves, between various school subjects, between home and
school, and between school and the wide world where multilingualism is the norm. We would say
that it represents a first attempt at accommodating the greater language and cultural hybridity of the
twenty first century. (Garcia, 2006, p. 157)
Bourne and Euan (2003) reaffirmed this: “[W]hen linguistic diversity is the norm, it is no longer
acceptable for mainstream teachers to believe that supporting second language learners is not an
essential part of their responsibility” (p. 29). The focus of teacher education for diverse learners
becomes more about an attitude than an aptitude.
Literacy Development in Multilingual Contexts
Over the last 3 decades, literacy research has shifted to examine the socio-cultural context of
literacy education. Heath’s (1983) landmark work, Ways With Words, was expanded into the
culture- or community-based literacy movements represented by the work of Purcell-Gates
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(2007), among others. The notion of family literacy has replaced individual literacy, acknowl-
edging that the wider school, family, and community all contribute to a child’s literacy and
academic success. De Graaf, De Graaf, and Kraaykamp (2000) referred to “cultural capital”
as those conceptual codes underlying specific cultures that serve as “shared cultural signals.
Literacy becomes a key facet of the child’s identity construction; family literacy practices;
home–school connections; and, in the case of language learning, the child’s multilingual/cultural
Dual Language Books in the Early Literacy Classroom
Dual language books have “the narrative in two languages, usually with English text on one page
and the second language on the facing page. Dual language books are designed to be read simul-
taneously in English and in the second language ... (Naqvi, 2007b, p. 26). Shanahan, Mulhern,
and Rodriguez-Brown (1995) described a literacy program in Chicago, IL in which monolingual
books were used in the most proficient language of the family (in this case, Spanish), noting the
tendency of some parents to orally translate English books. Hancock (2002) also determined that
Spanish-speaking children exposed to books read in Spanish did not score significantly differ-
ently from English-speaking children exposed to books read in English; however, those children
whose home language was Spanish and were read to in English scored significantly worse than
their Hispanic peers. In Canada, Taylor, Bernhard, Garg, and Cummins (2008) described a pro-
gram supporting children authoring dual language books in their home and school languages
and, through interviewing parents, identified a positive influence on family literacy practice. In a
related Canadian study, Cummins (2006) had children create “identity texts” that drew on their
linguistic and cultural capital from home to give it value in the school setting. Both studies were
transformative in practice, enabling students to understand the relevance of their own knowledge
to the classroom.
In an effort to address the two questions in this project, Naqvi (2007a) engaged in a research pro-
gram to investigate the efficacy of using dual language books to support the literacy achievement
of minority and mainstream students at the primary level. Three phases of research have been
completed, to date. Phase 1 focused on the collection of the dual language books, introducing
them into the teacher education program and piloting their use in two kindergarten classes. In this
study, the dual language books used were large-format, illustrated picture books appropriate for
the primary-level participants. The rationale behind the entire study was to focus on the primary
level because these students from multilingual minority families face the most serious cultural
and literacy challenges.
Phase 2 was a 2-year longitudinal study examining student outcomes in literacy achieve-
ment. The focus was on literacy outcomes of students exposed to the dual language books
through a structured reading intervention program. Phase 3 focused on (a) teacher induction
in a multilingual/multicultural environment and (b) the role dual language books play in the
diverse classroom and the experience of a pre-service/first-year teacher. This phase chronicles
the experiences of one teacher inductee across the pre-service/in-service junction within a
classroom implementing a dual language book literacy initiative.
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The Case of a Teacher Inductee: Christina
Christina was born in Austria, and her family immigrated to Canada when she was a preschooler.
German was spoken at home, so she entered school not knowing English. When Christina’s
family arrived in Canada, they lived in a small farming community with very few immigrants.
Christina was a member of the initial pre-service teacher cohort in Phase 2 and, after graduation,
began working part time as a first-year teacher and joined the research team as an associate dur-
ing Phase 3. Christina’s journals and reflections from her pre-service and first-year experiences
helped to answer the questions posed in this phase of the study.
Not only did Christina’s case enable the researchers to view firsthand the progressive nature
of a new teacher’s transitional experiences from education to employment, it illustrated how
one beginning teacher positioned herself to respond to the new demographics of schools today.
Christina’s case was made even more interesting by the fact that she represented the very demo-
graphic being studied: a student of a minority culture, who spoke no English upon arrival in
Canada. Although the focus of this article is the research accomplished in Phase 3, it is neces-
sary to describe the first two phases in order to fully grasp the implications of all three phases of
Christina’s story. The case study represents various extracts from Christina’s journals, as
well as her interview and in-class observations and video footage. Christina reflected on her
position as a pre-service teacher:
As a pre-service teacher I noticed how diverse my classroom was and felt the need to make each and
every student’s learning experience positive. Acknowledging the multilingual children in my class
created a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
An integral part of this research was Christina’s own history as a new immigrant to Canada:
I know what it is like to be an ESL [English as a second language] student because I was one
myself. I view my grade 2 ESL students differently. I feel their loneliness and sense their longing for
acceptance in the classroom. My mind drifts back some forty years ago when ESL students were a
rarity in small town communities and I recall the sense of abandonment that I felt with unfamiliar
sounds all around me. Other than my sister I had no one to talk to.
As with many new teachers, Christina’s personal experiences as an immigrant child in
Canadian schools resurfaced as she entered the teaching profession, including unresolved
traumatic memories (Grumet, 1988):
My most poignant memory takes me back to the grade 2 awards day when all of the students in
the classroom received an award as I sat alone on that cold hard gymnasium floor watching the
presentations. I felt my heart pound, hoping that I would be called to the front of the gym and then,
my sense of dismay when I wasn’t. My immigrant parents, who barely spoke English, were not
involved in my education, yet I loved school and wanted to fit in. My teacher showed very little
compassion, yet, looking back, I think it wasn’t necessarily her fault. I know now that she didn’t
know how. I often felt alone as I sat in my desk wondering why my parents had chosen to come to a
new country.
Christina came to define her identity as a teacher in opposition to, rather than identification
with, this teacher, as evident in the painstaking way she attempted to host an awards ceremony
in a way that acknowledged, rather than shamed, minority learners:
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I gave the first Student of the Month award for courage to the two lovely little girls from Colombia.
It takes courage to come to a new country and try to fit in. I located a Spanish translator who was
able to accommodate me in translating my short speech. Parents were invited to attend the ceremony
and I could feel a lump in my throat as I called the two beaming girls to the front of the auditorium
to accept their award. Their father was proud and thanked me ....
Three themes emerged from the case study analysis:
Advancing early literacy learning for multilingual/multicultural learners.
Teaching to make meaning.
Linguistic diversity.
Advancing Early Literacy Learning for Multilingual/Multicultural Learners
The dual language book program offered a platform for Christina t o teach literacy to multilingual
learners, which acknowledged their home language and life:
As a pre-service teacher my first practicum experience introduced me to dual language books. As I
used them I could see the excitement in my students’ faces once they where informed how the dual
language books would be read. Both the German and the English readers participated in a dialogic
reading strategy, peaking the students’ interest in the story. The following extracts of conversations
help understand this:
Victoria (a new German student with limited English skills): I am so excited to be able to hear my
native language and to learn English at the same time.
Kevin (an English speaker): I know some of those German words in the story. I have heard my
Grandmother use them.
At the same time, the books offered a tangible focus for Christina to teach many of the multilin-
gual, intercultural competencies and perspectives she had developed as a newcomer to Canada.
The books, like Christina’s approach to teaching, involved bridging mainstream and newcomer
children through exposure to the languages and contents:
This reading created a connection between native and non-native speakers of German. All students
showed some level of interest and curiosity in the language and expressed a desire to continue with
the readings.
The use of dual language books transformed the atmosphere in Christina’s classroom. They pro-
vided a powerful tool to advance literacy, and helped the students gain an appreciation for their
own language and culture, as well as those of their fellow students.
Teaching for Meaning-Making
Christina also used the dual language books as a catalyst to make meaning out of what was
being read. Through these books, she was able to engage her students in meaningful discussions
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around cultures, languages, and individual words. Although the books may have revolved around
a particular language or culture, they also included themes that were universal to all children (e.g.,
losing a tooth):
My first actual teaching experience involved a grade 2 class consisting of 23 students, three of which
were Spanish speaking. ...The two Colombian girls had limited English skills, were shy but partic-
ipated in most of the classroom activities. Due to the traumatic experiences both girls had suffered,
they often cried and suffered from anxiety. I decided to introduce dual language books into my
language lessons.
...Mr. Lopez, Maria’s father, was thrilled to be invited into our class and his daughter Maria was
excited to have her father in the classroom. None of my students had heard a dual-language story
before and listened contentedly to both the Spanish and English parts. You could feel Maria’s sense
of pride as her Daddy sat in the front of the classroom reading in their native language. After the
story “The Wibbly Wobbly Tooth” [Mills, 2003], we discussed the notion of how we all lose our
teeth and the excitement of seeing new ones grow in. Many of the students shared their experiences
and observations about hearing the story in both English and Spanish.
...Following this discussion, as a class, we looked at a globe and discussed the parts of the
world where Spanish is spoken. Mr. Lopez and Maria also showed the class where Colombia is
located. Lastly, we talked about various cultures and where we all come from. I then decided to
send home an assignment asking parents to discuss with their children from where their ancestors
came. This whole process was important because we were able to discuss the various cultures and the
diversity that we had in our class. I believe this process helped Maria and her cousin feel included
in the classroom. Consequently, they seemed to feel empowered to take on new challenges in the
classroom and quickly adapted to our class routines.
Linguistic Diversity
The fact that the dual language books represented different cultures and languages reinforced the
idea that linguistic diversity can be given a powerful voice with the incorporation of the proper
resources. The books validated the students’ unique linguistic identity and enabled the teacher to
build bridges with the various linguistic communities represented in the classroom:
I have always valued culturally and linguistically diverse students, but the introduction of dual-
language books has reinforced my belief that diverse students and their families can feel a sense
of belonging, given strategies and tools to help them become successful learners. The induction of
these dual language books gives students the opportunity to participate in classroom activities using
their native language. This has given me the opportunity to learn new words and phrases in a variety
of languages and helped me be proactive in creating the best possible literacy-learning environment
for my students.
Although this may not have been the case in the past, newcomers like Christina, with a L2
background who have gone on to become teachers, look back and realize that it is their past
experiences that have influenced multilingual/multicultural students to become integrated citi-
zens in schools. They value the importance of education and integration, and feel that new ideas
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that benefit culturally and linguistically diverse learners are welcome in every school. Schools are
making connections with the country’s past and using these experiences to help new immigrants
to Canada.
Christina observed that in both types of schools the use of dual language books served
a greater purpose than simply telling and enjoying a story. Dual language books offer stu-
dents and parents the opportunity to increase literacy skills at home because they bridge
the gap between home and school languages and cultures. It is important to note that the
multilingual/multicultural contexts in which Christina was working demanded a strong con-
nection between literacy acquisition and time management. For example, Christina reported that
reading books in another language demanded much more time. Student comprehension strate-
gies, trying to persuade them to read along, and other literacy teaching mechanics would also
often require more time. Strategies such as the use of pictures, technology, dialogic reading, and
conversation were all part of the literacy acquisition process and, therefore, used time that may
have been used in a different manner in a “regular” classroom. Nevertheless, the tools and strate-
gies incorporated were necessary because of the unique linguistic nature of the classrooms in
which these student teachers were working. Using a culturally responsive pedagogy was abso-
lutely necessary given the context of these schools. As a result, students in a linguistically and
culturally diverse setting would be developing and refining tools to learn and grow in a culturally
democratic environment.
With an increasing migratory multilingual /multicultural population in Calgary, across Canada,
and globally, it is important that newcomer students be given a sense of belonging and acknowl-
edgment in their new school. In the past, language barriers created immense problems; but, with
modern technology and new ideas and strategies, minority language students can have the oppor-
tunity to feel like they are an integral part of their learning environment. The incorporation of
dual language books encourages connections made between home and school, giving all stu-
dents a sense of worth and belonging. Parents are welcomed into the school and made to feel
like they are a foundational part of their child’s learning and success. This article examined two
questions: How are pre-service teachers being prepared to work with multilingual, multicultural,
and diverse learners?; and What role can dual language books play in the diverse classroom of a
pre-service/first-year teacher?
Based on Christina’s representation of her experiences, this study demonstrated how a struc-
tured reading intervention program using dual language books provided her important strategies
to support diverse learners in both a pre-service and in-service teacher professional development
context. The research was based on the premise that resources such as dual language books
give teachers the opportunity to effectively implement strategies in the multilingual/cultural
classroom that build on children’s cultural capital and create a stronger learning community.
Christina’s journals and reflections provided examples of how her involvement in this project
prepared her to teach in a multilingual/multicultural setting of diverse learners. Whether through
pre-service teacher education or in-service professional development through graduate studies
and faculty research initiatives, universities need to support teachers in their regions to develop
the means and the resources to implement effective language and literacy interventions that serve
as cultural bridges between children, families, and schools. Dual language books have proven to
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be one such resource that is well-received and has the potential to support mainstream teachers
in gaining both insight and empathy.
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Dr. Rahat Naqvi is an Associate Professor in Second Language Pedagogy at the Faculty of
Education, University of Calgary. She holds a PhD in Didactics of Languages and Cultures
from the Université de la Sorbonne, Paris. She has taught in various international set-
tings that include the National Institute for Oriental Languages, Université de la Sorbonne,
Paris and most recently at the University of Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany. Dr Naqvi
is the Associate Director of the Language Research Center at the University of Calgary.
Her focused fields of expertise are in language and literacy pedagogy, identity issues and
emergent literacy.
Christina Pfitscher is a graduate student and an alumnus of the Bachelor of Education
Program in the Faculty of Education. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Second
language teaching. She is also an elementary school teacher with a vast experience in the
area of language teaching.
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... Incorporating authentic reading materials such as multicultural children's literature can be an effective way to foster children's global awareness and cross-cultural understanding. Naqvi and Pfitscher (2011), for example, suggested using duallanguage books, books that present a narrative in two languages and represent different cultures and languages, as a way to validate students' linguistic and cultural diversity. They also suggested engaging students in meaningful discussions around differences in individuals, languages, and cultures. ...
This chapter examines how cross‐cultural education manifests and is practiced in the contexts of K‐12 and higher education in the United States. To promote a cross‐cultural understanding of students, teachers and schools need to recognize the importance of connecting school and community as well as considering multiple alternative learning spaces. In order to adequately prepare students for an increasingly globalized world, educational institutions, both K‐12 education and higher education, have initiated and implemented various cross‐cultural programs. Depending on the emphasis, cross‐cultural education manifests in a variety of programs such as experiential education, migrant education, and ESL/EFL education in K‐12 institutions, and foreign language studies, area studies, ethnic studies, and study abroad programs in higher education. Although there are noticeable inconsistencies in the approaches and practices of cross‐cultural education between K‐12 and higher education, there are also common challenges for implementing cross‐cultural education at all levels of educational institutions.
... 1. Draft a statement that identifies the significance for educational stakeholders of engaging with speakers of NSE and standardized Englishes (and other languages) from various geographical regions and across educational institutions, indicating specific avenues through which the student populace can obtain opportunities to experience these benefits at the state and district levels; 2. Develop a charge for research that systematically examines how students' engagement with literacy, language, and culture, across cultural and linguistic boundaries, can result in literacy and language gains for all populations and identify pathways through which parents can be privy to the results of this research (see Naqvi & Pfitscher, 2011); 3. Encourage universities, schools, districts, and journals focused on cross-linguistic and cross-cultural contexts to conduct research and make the publications available to the general public with regard to various populations of speakers; 4. Develop a charge for modifying or developing literacy and language curricula to provide teachers with explicit ways of facilitating interactions and translations between cross-linguistic populations (see Jiménez et al., 2015). In doing so, require that the curriculum highlight ways of being and doing associated with the specific languages and cultures of students who speak varieties of English, so teachers are aware of provisions for integration of languages during instruction; 5. Require that districts and schools comply with mandates to ensure that teachers with specific NSEspeaking students in their classrooms receive hands-on training concerning the specific English spoken by these students, so they can facilitate students as they cross linguistic boundaries and cultures in classrooms. ...
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National policies on language and literacy curricula reinforce standardized language approaches. These not only fail to meet the needs of non-standardized English speakers but also place our monolingual speakers at risk. When national policy does not address language in helpful, effective ways, the United States compromises citizens’ literacies for effective communication, and the country becomes less competitive globally. Non-standardized English speakers’ needs have not been met in literacy instruction, due to privileging only Standardized American English. This approach not only places linguistically diverse speakers as deficient and in need of fixing but also positions their monolingual counterparts (who lack this diversity) as necessarily privileged and proficient. As a way forward, national policy should move from an approach to multilingualism that is dichotomous, based only on standardized monolingual language norms, and instead adopt a translingual language approach that bridges gaps between the monolingual and the multilingual population.
Heterogeneous classes are those that are composed of different types of learners. Classrooms throughout the world are becoming more and more diverse, which inevitably impacts the learning and teaching process. The aim of the study presented in this chapter was to explore how pre-service and in-service EFL teachers perceived the issue of heterogeneity, and to report the benefits and challenges of heterogeneous classes as perceived by them. The study included two groups of participants from Turkey: 61 pre-service teachers in their 3rd year of study in the ELT program, and 14 in-service teachers of English as a foreign language. As part of the data collection procedure, the participants were given open-ended questions to elicit their views and perceptions, which were then qualitatively analyzed. Results indicate that for both pre- and in-service participants, there is a need for a more broadened view and greater awareness of diversity. The advantages of heterogeneity for pre-service teachers centered around exposure to diversity and tolerance, and for in-service teachers the exchange of information and cooperation among learners. The challenges of heterogeneous classes most frequently cited by both groups of teachers were: less successful students feeling neglected, high achieving students getting bored, and instructors struggling to meet the needs of all learners. The stated challenges indicate that more information and practice on how to teach diverse learners with varying backgrounds need to be provided to teachers.
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This critical, integrative qualitative review explores how researchers approach, describe, and justify culturally relevant, culturally responsive, or culturally sustaining literacy instruction in prekindergarten through fifth-grade (P–5) classrooms. We reviewed 56 studies published between 1995 and 2018. We documented terms researchers use, theorists cited, methods, student outcomes, and student populations. We also analyzed how researchers talked about achievement gaps, addressed their own positionality, and determined that specific literacy instructional practices were culturally informed. We found that researchers most commonly claim to document culturally relevant or responsive instruction, in some cases conflating the terms and related theorists. Most studies were qualitative, occurred with traditionally marginalized students (usually Black or Latinx) in the United States, and involved students reading a text that researchers deem culturally informed. We make recommendations for teachers and researchers to move the field of culturally informed literacy forward.
In this chapter, we provide a synthesis of what we learned from the three community CPAR case studies and the stakeholder interviews. This synthesis pulls together recurring themes common across these data sets as well as points of difference, in terms of the first three of our four research questions: (1) What are the literacy development contexts for preschool children in communities in Fiji that do not have access to preschools? (2) What are the enablers and constraints that impact on community capacity to support their preschool children’s literacy learning? and (3) What local resources and strategies can be used to foster preschool children’s literacy in their home languages and English, in communities in Fiji that do not have access to preschools? We close the chapter with our conclusions for these questions. These conclusions lead us into the final chapter where we provide a synthesis of findings for our fourth and final research question that focuses on strategies for developing community capacity.
This chapter presents findings from our interviews with influential stakeholders who have been actively involved in the development of Fiji’s and the Pacific’s early childhood education and care policies, curricula and/or programs. These interview findings highlight key considerations and complexities inherent in our study’s focus on building community capacity for fostering preschool children’s multilingual literacy in their home and community settings. We explore stakeholders’ perspectives according to the focus of each of our research questions in turn: preschool children’s literacy development contexts; enablers and constraints that impact preschool children’s literacy learning; local resources and strategies for fostering preschool children’s literacy in their home languages and English; and effective strategies for developing local community capacity to support preschool children’s literacy development in their home languages and English. The chapter closes with a discussion of implications for developing community capacity for fostering young children’s literacy, a matter core to the aims and focus of our study.
This chapter provides a review of research related to language and literacy learning in multilingual settings. This review is presented against Fiji’s contextual backdrop and linguistic landscape that we presented in Chap. 2. More specifically, we examine the call to action in the Pacific concerning the maintenance of Pacific languages vis-à-vis the cultural and historic significance of Pacific languages and related cultural and linguistic rights; self-determination in Pacific early childhood care and education, with a particular focus on language and literacy as we examine key regional initiatives and frameworks (viz. the Dakar Framework, the PRIDE Project, universal access to early childhood care and education services and Fiji’s Kindergarten curriculum guidelines); young children’s literacy in their home languages and English, with careful consideration of how children navigate different languages in terms of code-switching and translanguaging; culturally sustaining pedagogy, including an exploration of educational practices related to language and literacy teaching and assessment; and implications of the foregoing review for informing the study at hand.
What is the purpose of education? This question can be answered in a multitude of ways with layers of complex answers arising from a great range of philosophies and approaches to learning and teaching. It is a question that I have continually wondered about as a teacher working with school-aged children and adults alike. More recently, I have had the opportunity to introduce pre-service teachers to the importance and complexity of teaching for diversity and learning. Here, the question became, “What is the purpose of and how does one go about teaching and learning for diversity?” In this class presentation, I strived for a humble stance while posing this very question and discussing difficult topics that require teachers to critically reflect on their identity.
Technical Report
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This report presents cutting edge research that engages students and teachers as co-researchers in studying language and place. It offers innovative, authentic and cognitively challenging stage appropriate, research informed curriculum, pedagogies and assessment that enabled students and teachers to make explicit links between home languages and English and use this in service of classroom learning. The report introduces new culturally and linguistically appropriate pedagogies from the Australian educational context that have wide spread applicability across educational national and international settings.
This article presents key findings derived from the experiences of visible minority woman as teachers in Canada, whose lived realities reveal myriad instances of compromise. The ethnic, cultural and racial diversity among teachers is an area that has garnered attention as it pertains to equitable work environments, teacher–student relations, and multicultural education. The challenges and responsibility of representing one’s racialized identity, ethnicity, culture, and religion while finding oneself marginalized within mainstream populace is critically examined through their narratives and reflexivity. In instances of blatant discrimination, bridging the public and private sphere, to moments of fulfillment, the resilience of these women is a defining factor of their success within adversity. Through their experiences there is opportunity to inform and advance the notions of diversity, representation, and distinctiveness of teachers in educational settings and the impact this has on an intercontinental symbol of society values in education.
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Cambridge Core - Sociolinguistics - Ways with Words - by Shirley Brice Heath