Using Culture as an Asset

Cultural diversity is something to be appreciated and honored, but is too often devalued or belittled in schools. When students feel that their identities matter their motivation increases and achievement takes place. In A Strength-Based Approach to Teaching ESL, the author shares many tips for creating a culturally responsive school environment.


Responsibilities and Duties of an ESL Teacher

ELL Teachers wear many hats besides their teacher hats. We are advocates for our students and their families. We are often interpreters, actors, cultural representatives, researchers and many, many other roles to meet the needs of our culturally and linguistically diverse families. This post explains the responsibilities and duties of ELL teachers.

Source: Responsibilities and Duties of an ESL Teacher


Because research has shown that English Language Learners benefit from being in the classroom with their peers rather than being pulled from instruction, many schools have begun implementing coteaching models of instruction. There are many models of coteaching, but without deliberation and intentinality, teachers can accidentally be “pushing in” to classes rather than truly coteaching. This article at Education called Eight Tips for Making the Most of Coteaching has some great advice.

Proud Moment

So I’m sharing this post because I’m extremely proud of my 5th graders! They have been working hard on summarizing nonfiction articles this year and I just wanted to show off their work. To keep them engaged, we have read articles, listened to podcasts and watched videos about immigration and the history of immigration in the United States. Considering this entire group consists of refugees, immigrants or children of immigrants, they have been fascinated with this unit. I’ve discovered that by integrating something students are interested in with various media and opportunities for reading, writing, listening and speaking has greatly improved my students’ engagement and writing. I also taught them how to use the top portion of their workspace as a graphic organizer to lead up to summarizing a text. This seemed to really help them and their summaries have improved this year. Not only am I proud, but I’ve caught some of my students coming by 5 or more times a day to read their writing, because they feel proud of themselves! Today was a good day. 🙂


Resource for Supporting Immigrant ELLs for Teachers and School Administrators

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Learning a new language is an incredible opportunity that many people never have. Learning a new language while acclimating to a new culture and country has many challenges. Being a language learners and immigrant in the United States is incredibly difficult, especially during the current political climate. This article at Colorin Colorado (2017) Serving and Supporting Immigrant Students: Information for Schools, includes many articles, videos and tips for schools to make this process easier. Not only are there practical suggestions for teachers and administrators, but also legal considerations as well.