Honor Students' Language Diversity
Liliana X. Aguas
I will always remember the first time I observed Ms. King's class. … I walked through the classroom door and found Ms. King speaking in Spanish to an attentive group of 4th and 5th grade students.
In that moment, I felt a sense of validation about my first language that I'd never experienced before in an academic setting. I spent the rest of that school year student-teaching in Ms. King's two-way immersion classroom, conducting research on first-language maintenance and bilingual students and investigating the relationship between English language learners' perception of their first language and their academic performance.
What I found is that students who have a positive perception of their first language academically outperform students who view their first language negatively. My investigation clearly demonstrated that those teachers who created a language-inclusive classroom simultaneously created a more effective learning environment.
Read on for some of Ms. Aguas’ favorite classroom practices that honor students’ language diversity: http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/education-update/feb13/vol55/num02/Honor-Students%27-Language-Diversity.aspx