Cultural Responsivity In English Language Learners

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Through the readings done in class, there have been realizations about emergent bilingual students that have not only shocked me but have made me feel more prepared to properly educate these students. These realizations include the importance of understanding your students’ individual cultures rather than bunching all English Language Learners into the same category; as well as understanding that there are different levels of English Language Learners and creating individual guidance for those students. A third takeaway from the readings thus far involves the educational policies which schools mandate for their ELL’s. These are some ideas that would not have even crossed my mind without these readings, but it has now become clear how vital…show more content…
When teaching emergent bilinguals, we must break away from what we have grown up knowing and be open to these new ideas. In a situation such as educational support not being given at home, this is when collaborative work is needed to ensure that the child is getting the support they need while also not stepping over the family’s boundaries. This relates to the idea of cultural responsivity, which in the article is defined as, “the ability to learn from and relate respectfully to people from your own and other cultures” (Zion, 2005). Cultural responsivity is vital in keeping the student on track with their schoolwork while still allowing them to fully express who they are as a person. Not all emergent bilingual students come from the same background or speak the same language and through this article and class discussion, it has become evident just how important it is to find a way for both cultures to co-inhibit the students’ educational experiences. This realization about the different levels of English Language Learner’s discussed in chapter one of Foundations for Teaching English Language Learners, explains that there are a wide variety in the types of English Language Learners. As mentioned previously, as ELL’s can come from all different cultures, they can also come from different levels of educational experiences. The levels of experience do not diminish the educational…show more content…
As a country with no official language and the “melting pot” of the world, how is it that bilingual students and ELL’s are not getting the education they deserve. In addition, education is not even mentioned in the Constitution. A system that holds so much importance in the eyes of the country had an individual responsibility in each country. One interesting assessment used for ELL’s is the WIDA, this develops “common English language proficiency standards and assessments to comply with Title III of NCLB” (Wright, 2015). This idea of creating standards across the board for ELL’s, has created an abundance of opportunities for teachers to see where additional support for individual students are needed. During my first pre-practicum visit this semester I had the opportunity help administer the speaking portion of the WIDA to some third graders. It was heavily based upon illustrations and the questions were all read out to students so there we limited to no reading necessary. I think this is important because this test purely just assessed the students’ speaking abilities, they were not asked to read a sentence aloud, but instead repeat what they heard or announce what they saw. This takes away any mistakes that may be made simply because they student is behind in reading but not speaking. Through class discussions and readings, WIDA has proven to be
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