Toward Linguistically Inclusive Teaching: a curriculum for teacher education and a case study of secondary teachers' learning
Curtis, Emily K.J.
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Addressing teachers' preparation for and cultivation of cultural and linguistic diversity, this study presents a linguistics curriculum designed for teacher education and a case study of teacher-candidates' learning. That teacher education must develop culturally and linguistically responsive teaching ideologies and practices, integrating explicit teaching of language norms and academic language and supporting first and heritage language maintenance, stems from a demographic imperative: a diversifying student body versus a nearly monolithic teaching force of white, middle-class, monolingual English speakers with minimal experiences with language learning to inform their work for equitable education for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. Over 20% of US schoolchildren are second language English speakers (cf. deficit-focused "English Language Learner"), speaking over 460 languages. CLD also includes speakers of heritage languages and non-dominant dialects. While "ELL methods" proliferate, teacher education has but sparsely recommended, much less provided, a foundational knowledge base in language structure, variation, and acquisition that would enlighten and empower teachers for the CLD era. Case study results of teacher-candidates' (TCs') learning in this basic linguistics course demonstrated TCs' improved language awareness, empathy, and sense of empowerment, responsibility, and intentionality toward integrating language in their teaching and an inquiry stance toward SLES and language. All main topics contributed to learning, including critical realizations based on phonology, anthropological-linguistics, and pragmatics, and widespread connection with morphology, second language acquisition, and systemic functional linguistics analysis of disciplinary academic language. Some English Language Arts TCs found some material redundant, but others appreciated the course situated in their teacher education. Future development of linguistic inclusiveness as proposed here will include continued alignment with social justice and multicultural education, teacher and faculty professional development, learning communities, induction support, and curriculum development for all levels, informed by longitudinal case studies of teacher learning and practices of linguistically inclusive teaching.
- Education - Seattle