EDU 321

Week 5

Welcome Scholars to Our Final Week!

In Week Five, you will be examining the role of culture. Because language is tied to one’s culture, it is important to understand how culture and language are related and how to be sensitive and aware of cultural diversity. Culturally responsive pedagogy and mindsets lead to greater student achievement. All students benefit from such a framework. Culturally diverse students feel valued and all students learn to value. In your Final Project, you will be applying all that you have learned about cultural responsiveness, about theories, and about instruction to revise your lesson plan from Week Four. You will make modifications based on a specific EL case study profile. This is an opportunity to show what you have learned about effectively teaching English language learners.

This Week's Goals

  1. Examine the role of culture for an ELL’s learning and acquisition of language.
  2. Explain the importance of cultural responsive pedagogy and cultural awareness.
  3. Apply informed instructional decision making when revising lesson plans with ELLs in mind.

Teaching is the Core of Social Change

Thoughts From the Trenches

Nothing unites more than building community within a class and school. Students take pride in sharing about their families. Respect is earned when families feel acknowledged. Within the first week of school, I welcome families with a newsletter inviting them to select a date to come and share any special interests. I always welcomed volunteers. Creating a Responsive Community: Artifact Bags. With students, one of our first activities is called Artifact Bags. I model the activity as a way to introduce myself and set the expectations. I typically bring an Italian flag to share my heritage, a picture of a bike because I love bike rides with my children, and a book to represent my desire to be a writer "when I grow up." Then students go home and work with their families to create their own artifact bag. By the end of the week, students form groups and share with partners. The partners present each other and we take a photo to add to our board that is used the rest of the year to display work. This has been a big winner lesson that I continue to use time and time again as it sets the stage for unity!

Let's Get Reading -

  1. A Course for Teaching English Learners (2nd edition):
    1. Chapter 8: Culture and Cultural Diversity and Their Relationship to Academic Achievement
    2. Chapter 9: Culturally Inclusive Instruction
  1. Sharrio, C. (n.d.). Differentiated instruction. Retrieved from
      • This presentation goes into detail about what differentiation is, means, and how it can successfully be implemented. It also provides concrete examples for educators.

Discussion # 1--

  1. Role of Culture

    Because language is connected to culture, it is important to understand your students’ cultural backgrounds.

    Before reading Chapter 8 of your textbook, “Culture and Cultural Diversity and Their Relationship to Academic Achievement,” answer the following questions: How would you define culture? How would you define cultural diversity? How do you think culture affects academic achievement? Why is it important for teachers to have a cultural awareness of their students? How is culture a component of the learning process?

    After reading the chapter, compare what you now know to your pre-reading responses. How did your answers change? Why did they change? If they didn’t change, then you need to complete all of the Cultural Self-Study questions in Box 8.4. Describe three new things that you have learned.

    Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers. Did you change your thinking in the same or different ways your classmates did? Suggest ways you and your peers can increase cultural and global awareness.

Discussion #2

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

Read Chapter 9 of your textbook, “Culturally Inclusive Instruction.” As a teacher in the twenty-first century, you have a responsibility to be worthy of all your students by practicing culturally responsive teaching practices and by developing a culturally sensitive dispositions.

Answer both parts of this prompt:

How are you, as an educator, going to ensure that you are culturally sensitive and aware of the cultures within your classroom, school, and community?

Using Table 9.2, give an example of each level: Contributions, Additive, Transformative, and Social Action. At which level are you now? How do you know? At which level would you like to be? What will you do to get there?

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers. Give suggestions and further the conversation by discussing ways to increase cultural sensitivity and awareness in the classroom.

Journal Time

Course ExperienceThink about your class experience these past five weeks. What was the hardest thing you learned? Why? What was the easiest thing you learned? Why? You can refer to specific concepts, reading, assignments, etc. How has your understanding of ELLs increased? Be specific.
SIOP Model for Teaching English Learners - Lesson Delivery
This final is all about taking what you ave learned about language acquisition to craft a lesson plan that supports English proficiency. Your lesson must address certain components so please start by studying the rubric.

Best Practices in an ELL Classroom