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Ideology of biliteracy instruction

My personal ideology of biliteracy instruction is to teach in a holistic and multilingual approach. This means that I utilize students’ knowledge of two or more languages as an asset in the classroom to guide my instruction. Students will then develop the languages simultaneously. Being a bilingual educator in the United States is a difficult task since the Spanish and English language a student brings to the classroom is going to be different. I believe in recognizing this as an asset to create a richer learning experience. I believe in teaching the students based on what they already know and not simply introducing foreign concepts that students have never experienced. Utilizing students’ background knowledge and integrating it throughout my curriculum will give students a meaningful learning experience that they can apply to the world. Creating worldly connections will be a priority in my future classroom. Because of this, I believe in teaching utilizing a constructivist approach which means that students learn from previous knowledge and experiences.

To be able to teach utilizing students background knowledge and linguistic repertoire, I need to get to know the students, their families, and the community. In my classroom, I will look at the social oral and written language students use outside of school with family and friends. I will utilize this social language they use outside of school and support them in the classroom to develop academic language. Once I get to know the students’ strengths and weaknesses, I will differentiate instruction to meet the students’ linguistic, cultural, and academic needs. Additionally, I will provide bridging opportunities were students could make cross-linguistic connections. I will obtain this by connecting both languages, so students can compare and contrast them and transfer their knowledge of one language into another language. An activity that will allow me to Bridge both languages can be by finding cognates of words from one language to the other. I will only need to teach the students the definition of an unknown word in one language and they will know the meaning of it in both languages.

The book “Teaching for Biliteracy: Strengthening Bridges between Languages” by Karen Beeman and Cheryl Urow supports the ideologies that I describe. This book provides perfect examples of lesson plans and activities I can utilize in the classroom to create a richer educational experience for bilingual students. Additionally, Tara J. Yosso’s article “Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth” supports my ideology of utilizing students’ cultural capital to create meaningful learning experiences in the classroom. In this article, Yosso describes six types of cultural capital that students bring to the classroom. This cultural capital is utilized as students’ background knowledge that will benefit their learning in the classroom.

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Reference list:

Beeman, K., & Urow, C. (2013). Teaching for Biliteracy Strengthening Bridges between Languages. Philadelphia, PA: Caslon Inc.

Yosso, Tara. J. (2005) Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth: Race Ethnicity and Education, 8: 1, 69–91.