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Culturally Proficient Practice

Culturally Proficient Practice
Supporting Educators of English Learning Students

Foreword by Donaldo Macedo

ESL Methods

July 2012 | 208 pages | Corwin

Help your English learning students achieve academic success!

U.S. demographics are quickly shifting, and it is more important than ever to reach and teach English learning students. Designed to empower educators to become agents of change in their classrooms, schools, and communities, this guide introduces the principles of Cultural Proficiency and how they can help improve educators' ability to effectively teach English language learners. This book features:

  • Activities that build core Cultural Proficiency skills and promote personal transformation
  • A chapter-by-chapter rubric for working effectively with English learning students
  • A conversation-starting case story featuring the River View School District
  • Strategies for using action research to improve the success of English learning students

By focusing on Cultural Proficiency—and the underlying causes of EL achievement gaps—educators can uncover ways to break down academic barriers and use students' cultural background as educational assets.

"This is a valuable resource for staff developers creating culturally proficient learning environments to close the achievement gap. This work focuses on English learning students with the same 'inside out' approach as the authors' previous work. A perfect asset for a professional learning community book study!"
—Linda Fisher, Staff Development Coordinator
Lincoln Unified School District, Stockton, CA

"The book provides the school leader with the tools to engage themselves and others in making English learning students a priority. It is a must read for educators to get those hard and healthy conversations started and to examine our school practices and policies."
—Lori Henderson, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services
Manitoba, Canada

Foreword by Donaldo Macedo
About the Authors
Part I. The Context and Tools for Educating English Learning Students
1. Setting the Context
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

2. The Tools of Cultural Proficiency
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

3. Educators' Rubric for Support of English Learning Students and Their Communities: Changing the Conversation
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

Part II. River View School District: A Context for Educating Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students
4. Assessing Cultural Knowledge: You, Your School, and Your Community
Getting Centered

Assessing Cultural Knowledge

Using the Rubric: Assessing and Developing Your Cultural Knowledge About Self, School, and Community

River View Case Story

Professional Learning for General Educators Who Teach English Learning Students

Going Deeper

6. Managing the Dynamics of Difference: You, Your School, and Your Community
Getting Centered

Managing the Dynamics of Difference for Me, My School, and My Community

Using the Rubric: Managing the Dynamics of Difference for Self, School, and Community

River View Case Story: The Middle School in Conflict

River View Case Story: The Clash of the Coteachers

Professional Learning Through Inquiry Helps Manage the Dynamics of Differences

Going Deeper

7. Adapting to Diversity: You, Your School, and Your Community
Getting Centered

Adapting to Diversity for Me, My School, and My Community 101 Mindfulness

Using the Rubric: Adapting to the Diversity of Your School and Community

River View Case Story: Confronting Barriers to a Community in Transition

River View Case Story: Parents as Change Partners

Professional Learning for General Educators Who Teach English Learning Students

Going Deeper

8. Institutionalizing Cultural Knowledge: You, Your School, and Your Community
Getting Centered

Institutionalizing Cultural Knowledge for Me, My School, and My Community

Using the Rubric: Institutionalizing Cultural Knowledge About Your School and Community

River View Case Story: Benchmarking Along the Way

Professional Learning for General Educators Who Teach English Learning Students

Going Deeper

Part III. Next Steps
9. Guiding Your Own Research That Leads to Action
Getting Started

Action Research: A Model for Improvement of Practice for You, Your School, and the Community Served by Your School

Educators as Practitioner Researchers in Support of English Learning Students

Action Research Through a Culturally Proficient Practitioner Researcher Lens

Action Research Cycle Rubric for Culturally Proficient Practitioner Researchers

Action Research Getting Started Protocol

Closing Thoughts

Questions for Reflection

Resource A. Professional Learning Activity - Assessing Cultural Knowledge
Resource B. Professional Learning Activity - Valuing Diversity
Resource C. Professional Learning Activity - Managing the Dynamics of Difference
Resource D. Professional Learning Activity - Adapting to Diversity
Resource E. Professional Learning Activity - Institutionalizing Cultural Knowledge
Resource F. Recommended Books on Instructional Strategies
Matrix: How to Use Cultural Proficiency Books

"I find this book to be a rich and valuable resource for every education professional working in a diverse society. While it exposes the many complex cultural issues that are present in schools, especially in working with English learning students and their families, it proposes a meaningful and practical approach to achieving a viable level of cultural proficiency in education professionals. Bravo!"

Anaida Colón-Muñiz, Associate Professor and Former President of the California Association for Bilingual Education
Chapman University College of Educational Studies, CA

"Teachers, administrators and counselors not yet familiar with notions of cultural proficiency should read this book cover to cover. This book is a 'must read' guide for those working with English language learners. With these tools at our disposal there should be no English learner 'left behind'."

Lesley A Harbon, Associate Professor
University of Sydney, Australia
Key features
  • Applies the Cultural Proficiency framework and tools to the challenge of narrowing achievement gaps between ELs and their non-EL counterparts.
  • Presents an asset-based approach to working ELs that counters the perspective that students from non-English speaking backgrounds come to school with certain deficits that prevent them from learning
  • Provides educators with the knowledge and skills to maximize educational opportunities for all students, independent of students' primary language.
  • Includes a running case story of cultural identity exploration and discovery as a guide for the reader to consider themselves within the context of the classrooms, schools and communities they serve.
  • Features an English Learner Instruction Rubric that illustrates ineffective-to-effective instructional approaches and ineffective-to-effective supporting coaching and leadership approaches.
  • Introduces action research as a model for leaders, coaches and teachers to utilize their own school districts, schools, and classrooms as centers of research on best practices to increase the academic achievement of English language learners.  

For instructors

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