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Academic Language Mastery: Culture in Context

Academic Language Mastery: Culture in Context

ESL Methods

August 2016 | 112 pages | Corwin

By now it’s a given: if we’re to help our ELLs and SELs access the rigorous demands of today’s content standards, we must cultivate the “code” that drives school success: academic language. Look no further for assistance than this much-anticipated series from Ivannia Soto, in which she invites field authorities Jeff Zwiers, David and Yvonne Freeman, Margarita Calderon, and Noma LeMoine to share every teacher’s need-to-know strategies on the four essential components of academic language.

The subject of this volume is culture. Here, Noma LeMoine makes clear once and for all how culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy validates, facilitates, liberates, and empowers ethnically diverse students. With this volume as your roadmap, you’ll learn how to:

  • Implement instructional strategies designed to meet the  linguistic and cultural needs of ELLs and  SELs
  • Use language variation as an asset in the classroom
  • Recognize and honor prior knowledge, home languages, and cultures

The culture and language every student brings to the classroom have vast implications for how to best structure the learning environment. This guidebook will help you get started as early as tomorrow. Better yet, read all four volumes in the series as an all-in-one instructional plan for closing the achievement gap.

About the Authors
1. Introduction to the Book Series
2. Abbreviated Literature Review: The Case for Culturally Relevant and Linguistically Responsive Pedagogy
3. Practical Application: Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Instructional Strategies That Advance Learning in EL and SEL Populations
4. Fostering Literacy With CLRP
5. Assessing for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Indicators
6. Conclusions, Challenges, and Connections
Epilogue: The Vision

Language and culture are intertwined tightly. Culture and language are portable and hence can travel from country to country, from home to school and from school to home. At school teachers have an opportunity, and duty, to facilitate and support the exploration of culture and language so that we (educators, students, and parents) all understand one another better and in turn get along better. We need to have command of a range of "Englishes” and communication styles as well as an understanding of "Cultures" so that we can participate fully in society (at home, at school and as a member of the global community). The Culture in Context volume of the Academic Language Mastery series will help educators better meet the needs of the wide variety of students and families they may encounter in today's school settings.

Katherine Lobo, ESL Teacher and Teacher Trainer
Newton Public Schools & Brandeis University

"This book fills a significant gap in the content and resource knowledge needed in addressing the academic language needs of Standard English language learning students. Readers are guided to examine their expectations of students as they learn and practice culturally responsive instructional strategies that open classrooms to more equitable opportunities and outcomes for English Learning Students and Standard English Learning Students."

Randall Lindsey, Emeritus Professor
California State University, Los Angeles
Key features

(1) An accessible guide to understanding and promoting Academic Language development (ALD) among both ELLs and speakers of non-standard English.

(2) Built around research-based principles for ALD instruction across all content areas.

(3) Focuses on the relationship between culture and ALD, with particular emphasis on working with speakers of non-standard English

(4) Sensitizes educators to the importance of using language variation as an asset in the classroom.

(5) Addresses the use of contrastive analysis -- purposefully analyzing the differences between students' home codes and the code of the school -- as a tool for Culturally Responsive Teaching

(6) Helps educators to appreciate and honor students' home languages and cultures.

(7) Includes a range of elementary and secondary connections such as student work samples and examples of student dialogue.

Publishing Rationale

(1) The topic is more important than ever: results of the 2015 PARCC and Smarter-Balanced assessments show ever -widening gaps between ELLs and their non-ELL peers.  Academic Language Development is the key to unlocking academic content.

(2) The series as a whole features high-visibility co-authors.  Noma Lemoine is a leading expert on teaching Academic Language to Standard English Learners.  Prior to her retirement from LAUSD, she developed and implemented an important, district-wide program devoted to teaching academic language that will provide the basis for this volume.  She is currently a very active, national consultant whose work is in great demand.

(3) Each volume can be used individually or with other books in the series, depending upon the needs of readers.

(4) The series is an offshoot of the new Institute for Culturally- and Linguistically-Responsive Teaching (ICLRT) based at Whittier College.  The volumes will be promoted at an annual conference hosted by the Institute. Corwin sponsored this successful event in 2015 and we also signed a memorandum of understanding with ICLERT as a precursor to subsequent co-sponsored ventures.  We hope to include additional Corwin authors in the 2016 Institute and are exploring other partnership opportunities with the Center

(8) Offers a discussion of how teachers can assess student growth in response to CRT
(9) Includes tools for conducting PD on this topic. 

For instructors

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