This issue of CAL SIOP Bulletin focuses on language and culture in a K-adult context, offering discussion of various aspects of cultural, as well as practical suggestions for the classroom.
New CAL Digest
Language, Diversity, and Learning: Lessons for Education in the 21st Century
This digest by Dr. Sonia Nieto reviews changing demographics in language, ethnicity, culture, and customs in the U.S., offers ways for how we can learn from our nation’s history of language diversity, and provides suggestions for schools and districts to better meet the needs of their linguistic and ethnically diverse student populations. Learn more.
New SIOP Lesson Plan Targeting Language and Culture
A number of SIOP features address the importance of building background and establishing cultural connections between the new content and the students’ background knowledge and experiences, also suggesting specific techniques that support incorporation of cultural knowledge into lesson planning and delivery.
We added one new lesson plan to our resources to provide you with more examples of how SIOP lessons can be adapted to meet the needs of language learners from different cultural backgrounds. Check out the new lesson plan on our website.
New SIOP Activity
Raising Questions and Bringing the Learner’s Background into the Classroom
Tapping into the students’ cultural knowledge is an integral part of the SIOP component of Building Background. The CAL SIOP team recently developed an activity targeted at using and supporting students’ background knowledge in adult ESL and content area classrooms. Entitled “Raising Questions and Bringing the Learner’s Background into the Classroom,” the activity suggests specific questions and tasks that can be adapted for teaching a number of key concepts in various content area courses.
View or download the new activity from our website.
Making Content Comprehensible: Elementary and Secondary Versions
Adapted from the widely used Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners: The SIOP Model, these new publications open with an introductory chapter that provides an overview of issues in the education of English learners. Each chapter that follows discusses one research-based component of the SIOP Model of instruction and gives explicit guidance on how to implement the component in elementary or secondary classrooms respectively. Each chapter also includes vignettes of 3 teachers implementing the SIOP Model to varying degrees. Readers have the opportunity to analyze the instruction and rate the lessons. The authors provide their own analysis and discussion of each lesson as well. The text addresses struggling readers and students with learning disabilities and provides guidance for use of the observation protocol. The protocol forms are provided in an Appendix as are lesson plan templates. Learn more.
Understanding Cultural Diversity Through the Power of Video
Connecting Diverse Cultures, CAL's new facilitator's guide, serves as a companion to our refugee families and youth DVD, which includes the videos A New Day and Be Who You Are. This guide incorporates segments of the videos into a selection of engaging activities designed to help increase understanding of and respect for other cultures and beliefs. This guide has been developed to assist teachers and facilitators in enhancing tolerance and multiculturalism in K–12 classrooms and in adult ESL classes. Learn more about the guide and videos.
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