As a teacher, you may have a class with students that do not share the same linguistic or cultural backgrounds. Demonstrating cultural competence entails a focus on the individual learner, not just the curriculum, as you identify ways to respect and promote the linguistic and cultural differences of your students.
Part 1: Continued Language Support
Discuss with your mentor teacher culturally specific items in their classroom environment. You may consult other teachers at your field experience site to gather additional information or work with multiple teachers if needed. Include the following in your discussion: 9th grade classroom
* How do you support and celebrate cultural diversity within instruction?
* How do you leverage home language and cultural assets?
* How do you show responsiveness to the different strengths, needs, and identities of all ELLs, including special needs?
* How do you demonstrate understanding of the social, emotional, and cultural needs of students when establishing classroom routines and procedures?
* At least two additional questions to discuss with the teacher.
Observe at least one classroom in 9th grade school setting with ELLs. Continue to work with the student or group of students to support their language acquisition needs in the mentor teacher’s classroom. If possible, focus on instructional or support activities related to the discussion with your mentor. Examples of activities include creating resources with the mentor teacher that support the home language/culture of the ELLs in the classroom; conducting a whole-class activity that supports cultural diversity; attending meetings with the mentor teacher which involve ELL families; providing one-on-one assistance specific to the social, emotional, cultural, linguistic, or academic needs of the student.
Use any remaining field experience hours to assist the mentor teacher in providing instruction and support to the class.
Part 2: Reflection
Following the observation, discuss with your mentor teacher the progress made and next steps in supporting the students’ language acquisition needs. Collaborate on ways your mentor teacher can continue to demonstrate cultural understanding and promote language development in their content area classroom.
Write a 250 word reflection summarizing your observations and discussion. Include a reflection of how you supported the language acquisition needs of the students you worked with. Address how what you have learned will affect your future professional practice. Specifically discuss how you will demonstrate cultural understanding and promote language development in your classroom.
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