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Linking Mainstream Teachers to LEP Students. I. The Rationale II. General Strategies III. Specific Strategies and Activities. Cog & Dev Psychologist.

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linking mainstream teachers to lep students
Linking Mainstream Teachers to LEP Students

I. The Rationale

II. General Strategies

III. Specific Strategies and Activities

Cog & Dev


By the year 2026 the current number of LEP students in our schools (8 million) will conservatively approximate 15 million students, or 25% of total elementary and secondary school enrollments. IT WILL BE VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR A PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR TO SERVE IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL SETTING, OR EVEN IN ANY PRIVATE SCHOOL CONTEXT, IN WHICH THE STUDENTS ARE NOT RACIALLY, CULTURALLY, OR LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSE.
student diversity and educational vulnerablility
Student Diversity and Educational Vulnerablility
  • Indicators of Child and Family Well-Being

1. Health

2. Family Income

3. Stability

Projections indicate that unless poverty is checked in very direct ways, the number of children and youth in poverty will more than double by the year 2026. More than half of these children and youth living in poverty will be nonwhite and Hispanic.
dropout rate
Dropout Rate
  • Dropout Rate: Nonwhite and Hispanic students drop out of high school at two to three times the rate of white students.
  • 67% Hispanic completion; 86% African American; 88% White.
academic achievement
Academic Achievement
  • At the age of 8, there is little difference in below-level performance for whites (24.5%), blacks (25.1%), and Hispanics (25%). But by the age of 13, the discrepancy is quite significant. Whereas 28.8% of white 13-year-olds performed below grade level, the figure for blacks was 44.7% and for Hispanics was 40.3%.
reading performance
Reading Performance
  • In international comparisons of reading comprehension achievement, the U.S. performs well in relation to other industrialized countries at grade-four level, but less well at grade eight.
  • However, the gap between the highest and lowest performing students has increased.
the result
The Result

As the population of nonwhite and Hispanic students increases to an estimated 70% of the total U.S. student population in 2026, we must figure out effective ways to address this underachievement.

funding for education
Funding for Education

National, State, and local complications. On the average, 90% of any educational expenditure consists of tax dollars from local or state sources. How does this funding structure impact student learning?

failure of 30 years of reform
Failure of 30 Years of Reform
  • The implicit assumption underlying reform efforts is that instructional interventions can remediate student “deficits.”
  • Long failure of traditional reforms suggests a need to look more closely at the teacher/student dynamics, rather than focusing on specific strategies.
school failure
School Failure

Widespread school failure does not occur in minority groups that:

1. Positively oriented toward both their own and the dominant culture

2. Do not perceive themselves as inferior to dominant group

3. Not alienated from their own cultural values.

  • Social/Emotional
  • Distinct factors, but difficult to separate in minority students.
why the teacher
Why the Teacher?
  • Students from “dominated” societal groups are “empowered” or “disabled” as a direct result of their interactions with educators in the schools.
  • An international perspective: academic failure of Finnish students in Sweden (where they are a low-status group) compared to their success in Australia (high status group)
effective teaching what is it
Effective Teaching: What is It?
  • Content knowledge
  • Teaching for student learning
  • Creating a classroom community
  • Teacher professionalism

* Effective teachers incorporate culturally responsive pedagogy

effective teaching
Effective Teaching
  • Most research has dealt with empirical concern for multicultural representation in the content of curriculum, at the expense of examining teaching strategies themselves.
teaching lep students
Teaching LEP students
  • Most research has centered on:

1. Use or nonuse of students’ native language

2. Developing English language skills

focus on the teacher
Focus on the Teacher
  • Current interventions: exercise of instructional technique that can be scripted and controlled in scientifically supported ways.
  • We need to challenge the exclusion of human relationships from our understanding of what constitutes effective education
Teachers frequently work in conditions that are oppressive for both them and their students
  • Teachers operate under many constraints with respect to curriculum and working conditions
the power of the effective teacher
The “power” of the Effective Teacher
  • While we recognize the many constraints on teachers, teachers do have choices in the way they structure classroom interactions and in the messages about identity they communicate to their students.
  • Determining the social and educational goals they want to achieve with their students is possible. How?
Even in the context of English-only instruction, educators have options:

1. the orientation they adopt to students’ languages and cultures

2. the forms of parent and community participation they encourage

3.the ways they implement pedagogy and assessment.

An image of our own identities as educators
  • An image of the identity options we highlight for our students
  • An image of the society we hope our students will help form
focus on the teacher23
Focus on the Teacher
  • A focus on human relationships assigns at least equal weight to the ways in which identities are negotiated in the interactions between educators and students.
  • Classroom interactions are never neutral with respect to the messages communicated to students about the value of their language, culture, intellect, and imagination.
four structural elements
Four structural elements
  • Cultural/linguistic incorporation
  • Community Participation
  • Pedagogy
  • Assessment
general strategies for mainstream teachers
General Strategies for Mainstream Teachers
  • Culture: Teachers must be acutely aware that LEP students struggle to integrate their world views, knowledge systems, and ways of knowing into the American educational system
  • Language Issues: Teachers should understand second language acquisition and its impact on language, literacy and academic development
  • Perception of students
  • Knowledge of students
  • Knowledge of THEMSELVES!!
specific strategies
Specific Strategies
  • CAL elementary, p. 37-43.
  • CAL high school, p. 29-38.