Ideology of biliteracy instruction

I believe that children are human first and apprentices second. So I think it’s important to keep in mind that as educators we are working with the whole child and not just the student. As far as my ideology of biliteracy instruction, I believe it’s important to allow plenty of room for dialogue, conversations, and discussions in the classroom. I agree with Vygotsky’s socialization theory in that social interactions shape our view of the world; thus we must dedicate time to build a collaborative space where students use language to learn from one another. I’ve learned by personal experience and by observing children (and also adults like my mother who learned a second language as an adult) that language is learned by hearing it, speaking it, by being exposed to and emerged in it. A constructivist classroom would represent my idea of biliteracy instruction. In such a classroom, students are learning to ask questions not only of the teacher, but also of their peers. In this classroom, all interpretations or points of views are valid as each and everyone’s personal experiences are worthy resources to increase knowledge of the world. For instance, if a student is learning the target language of the classroom as their second or third language, a teacher of a constructivist classroom would create a supportive environment where students can access any of their linguistic resources to express themselves. As Ofelia Garcia states, “translanguaging is about communication, not about language itself.” She encourages teachers to be co-learners and provide supports in the classroom where students can support one another (e.g. groups created based on home languages, or children’s literature that represent the languages present in the classroom).

Of course, my philosophy of education is always a work in progress that will evolve with experience and growth. But today as a teacher candidate, I believe that in order to educate the whole child, we must provide environments where children are able to express themselves as they are so that they could gain knowledge of themselves and of the world.

Grosjean, Francois Ph.D. (2016). Life As a Bilingual. (Accessed April 12, 2017 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-bilingual/201603/what-is-translanguaging).

McLeod, S. A. (2012). Zone of Proximal Development. (Accessed April 11, 2017 from www.simplypsychology.org/Zone-of-Proximal-Development.html).

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