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Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop

Teaching English Language Learners Put It Into Practice | Teaching English Language Learners

Choose Activities

In this section, you will build on what you have learned and develop strategies that you can use in your own classroom. The following activities are designed to help assess your multicultural books and to use students’ interests to plan instruction. Choose one or more of the activities from the list below.


Activity 1 –Evaluate Your Multicultural Literature

In this activity, you will practice evaluating the multicultural literature in your classroom library and instructional program.


Activity 2 –Begin a Dialogue

In this activity, you will develop a questionnaire and then interview one of your English language learners.

Evaluate Your Multicultural Literature

 

One of the ways teachers can help English language learners develop a strong sense of identity in the classroom and improve their reading comprehension is to use multicultural literature in the literacy program. In this activity, you will practice evaluating the multicultural literature in your classroom library and instructional program. When you have finished, save your chart to submit as an assignment.

  1. Review the characteristics of quality multicultural literature and questions for each characteristic listed in Extend Your Knowledge.
  2. Select five books from your classroom, or five new books from the library, and evaluate them using the Evaluating Multicultural Literature Chart (PDF). You may want to do this with a colleague.
  3. Determine which books provide accurate portrayals of the cultures represented.

Next, review the information on your chart and answer these questions:

  • Are the books you selected accurate and authentic representations of the culture?
  • How will you use these books? (e.g., for independent reading, for whole-class or small-group instruction)
  • What other books would you like to include in your literacy program or classroom library?
  • Where can you find additional multicultural literature?

Begin a Dialogue

In this activity, you will develop a questionnaire and then interview one of your English language learners. This activity is designed to help you learn more about your student–in particular his or her unique language, cultural and ethnic background, strengths and needs, and the ways in which reading and writing are important to him or her. When you have finished, save your written work to submit as an assignment.

  1. Develop a questionnaire:
    Reread Professor Jiménez’s article, “It’s a Difference That Changes Us: An Alternative View of the Language and Literacy Learning Needs of Latina/o Students.” Next, develop a questionnaire to guide you in a dialogue with your English language learner. Include questions that focus on the following categories:

    • family background (culture, country of origin, language(s) spoken in different settings and to whom)
    • siblings
    • home literacy behaviors
    • outside interests
    • favorites (books, TV shows, movies, etc.)
    • student self-assessment (e.g., What is easy for you? What is hard for you? What would you like to do better in school?)
    • other
  2. Engage in a dialogue:
    Use the topics from the questionnaire as a basis for a dialogue with one English language learner. Take notes during the dialogue. Encourage the student to ask you questions as well.
  3. Reflect and plan instruction:
    Review your notes and discuss two changes you will make in subsequent instruction.

Series Directory

Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop

Credits

Produced by WGBH Educational Foundation. 2006.
  • Closed Captioning
  • ISBN: 1-57680-815-7

Workshops