Using a modified cultural relevance rubric to assess and implement culturally relevant texts in content area classrooms for ELLs.
Hanzlian, Courtney G.
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SubjectTextbooks.; Culturally relevant pedagogy.; English language -- Textbooks for foreign speakers -- Russian.; English language -- Textbooks for foreign speakers -- Chineese; English language -- Textbooks for foreign speakers -- Spanish.; English language -- Textbooks for foreign speakers -- Arabic.
Texts provided and utilized in many schools and classrooms are not always the most appropriate, relevant, or engaging for English language learners (ELLs) because ELLs’ backgrounds and schemata usually differ from those of their non-ELL counterparts (Ebe, 2010, 2011, 2012; Freeman, Freeman, & Freeman, 2003; Freeman & Freeman, 2004). ELLs who read culturally relevant texts (CRTs) are more likely to show an increase in reading comprehension scores (Ebe, 2010, 2011, 2012) and CRTs can lead to an increase in reading engagement (Freeman, Freeman, & Freeman, 2003). CRTs can be used in all content areas to enrich the learning of students. However, it can be difficult and time consuming to find CRTs that correlate with the curriculum topics and some teachers may not know how to determine if a text is culturally relevant. Therefore, this curriculum project focuses on identifying and utilizing both expository and literature CRTs across the content areas. Using these types of text in inclusive classrooms with non-ELLs and ELLs can help enrich all students by providing multiple viewpoints of an event and encouraging the use of critical thinking skills and questioning (Gay, 2010). This project was designed as a tool for both mainstream and ESL teachers. Included in the project are a variety of CRTs and lessons for each of the content areas. These CRTs address ELLs’ language/ethnic heritage backgrounds including Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and Chinese. The project is limited to secondary teachers that have students from these selected backgrounds in their classes.
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