Cultural Competency Resources

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3 Ways to Speak English

From the TED Talk site: "Jamila Lyiscott is a 'tri-tongued orator;' in her powerful spoken-word essay 'Broken English,' she celebrates — and challenges — the three distinct flavors of English she speaks with her friends, in the classroom and with her parents. As she explores the complicated history and present-day identity that each language represents, she unpacks what it means to be 'articulate.' "

Benefits of Language and Accent Diversity Among ABE Teachers and Volunteers

Minnesota Adult Education community members Justyna Sparrow and Andrea Echelberger bring us a session on the numerous benefits of having teachers and volunteers who did not grow up with English as a home language. They also discuss how we can support, advocate and retain teachers with diverse languages and accents which is so important in progressing equity within our schools.

Coaching for Equity Tools

This website by equity coach extraordinaire Elena Aguilar and her team at Bright Morning is full of wonderful tools and resources that can help both teachers and education coaches. However, you don't have to have an official job as a coach to use her helpful materials!

Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Teaching in Adult ESOL

A helpful resource from our colleagues at SABES in Massachusetts, this video defines Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Teaching (CRST), in conjunction with Massachusetts' ESOL Professional Standard 3. SABES provides a brief overview of the 5 key elements they use to break down CRST in order to assist educators trying to find more specific ways of implementing these practices in their classrooms. There is also a Flipgrid article that gives more classroom examples of these 5 key elements.

Culturally Responsive Practices and Participatory Instruction in ABE

Minnesota Adult Education community members Yixiu Chen and Erin Cary present this two-part series. Part 1 delves into what culturally responsive teaching is, while Part 2 describes Erin's Participatory Curriculum Unit Design Tool. You will learn about many tangible tools to try in your classrooms.

Culturally Responsive Teaching 101

In this video, Zaretta Hammond gives an introduction to her book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. She discusses the importance of centering our classrooms around learners' cultural and linguistic identities and experiences. Though she is talking about k-12 schools, there are many valuable parallels to adult education.

Culturally Responsive Teaching Examples

In response to a question in the ATLAS Antiracist Praxis Study Circle, this document was made as a companion to Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond. Even if you haven’t read the book, hopefully you can still follow along the list to see some examples of Culturally Responsive Teaching in action.

Education Liberates

Hear directly from scholar giants in the field of education bell hooks and Bettina Love as they discuss racism in education, Abolitionist Teaching, and what educators can do to strive for justice in their classrooms. Like many other sources, they discuss k-12 schools, but there's still so much to prompt us to reflect on our own adult education teaching.

Embracing Multilingualism and Eradicating Linguistic Bias

As adult English educators, it is important for us to understand the language and accent discrimination learners face, and also to advocate in our communities to end this discrimination. In this TEDx Talk, Karen Leung discusses this very fact and gives anecdotes of the discrimination she and her family have faced while learning English after moving to the US.

ESOL Teaching Resources to Promote Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Our friends and colleagues at SABES in Massachusetts put together this rich collection of resources for adult English educators who want to be intentional in incorporating antiracist teaching in their classrooms. SABES highlights that many resources are created by historically marginalized community members.

Heritage Language Resources Hub

This is a massive collection of resources in many languages around the world, put together by LESLLA (Literacy Education and Second Language Learning for Adults). A huge part of translanguaging (which is included in culturally sustaining teaching practices) is providing literacy resources in learners' home languages. This affirms for students that their languages are an asset on their journey of English learning.

Learning for Justice

Formerly called Teaching Tolerance, Learning for Justice provides free educational resources founded on their Social Justice Standards, which are divided into four domains: Identity, Diversity, Justice and Action. Their website includes free lessons, learning plans, student texts and tasks, teaching strategies, film kits, printable posters, and a learning plan builder.

Participatory Curriculum Unit Design Tool

Minnesota Adult Education community member Erin Cary created an amazing tool as part of her capstone project at Hamline University. The key to Culturally Responsive Teaching is making the class more relevant to learners' lives, experiences, and goals, and you can't do that without asking them to participate in the creation of the class. This template is an excellent guide to do just that.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Brazilian educational activist Paulo Freire originally published the seminal book The Pedagogy of the Oppressed in 1968. This book is essential reading for any educator interested in adult literacy and equity. Freire explains how traditional schooling perpetuates colonization and domination over oppressed classes of people and the way to liberation is through literacy and evoking critical consciousness in education.

Problematizing Linguistic Integration of Migrants: The Role of Translanguaging and Language Teachers

In this article, Ofelia García defines translanguaging, gives a fascinating example of an adult language classroom, and redefines traditional teacher roles into 4 new roles: the detective, the co-learner, the builder, and the transformer. She gives us real examples to reflect on and to try in our classrooms.

Race, Identity, and English Language Teaching

A Joint TESOL Quarterly and TESOL Journal Publication This is an online database of articles on race and teaching curated by editors from TESOL Journal and TESOL Quarterly, to support TESOL’s statement against racial injustice and inequality.

Teaching To Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom

This book offers educators tools to increase democratic participation in the classroom and to think about education as a practice of freedom. From the back cover: "Teaching students to "transgress" against racial, sexual, and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom is, for the author, the teacher's most important goal."

The Change Agent Resource Packets

These high-quality, relevant materials provide a basis for teachers who want to start conversations about facing racism, racial equity, and other social justice topics pertaining to race in the U.S. The lesson packets are free to download, edit, and use.

To the girl in English class

Similar to the Karen Leung video in this section of the library, this TikTok video by Hafsat Abdullahi is another unfortunate but great example of an English language learner speaking about their own experience learning English and facing discrimination. This resource provides several ideas for activities you can use with the English learners you work with.

Translanguaging as an Antiracist Practice

In this recorded webinar, Minnesota adult English teacher Cydnee Sanders and Hamline University Professor Betsy Parrish define translanguaging and give tangible examples teachers can try in their classrooms. There are examples of vocabulary, reading and writing activities, plus some other things to consider in your classroom such as what to do if there is only one speaker of a language.

Translanguaging Guides

One of the leading institutions on translanguaging research and resources is CUNY-NYS. Their whole website is filled with resources, but this webpage brings readers specifically to some of the guides and videos they have made specifically for educators. For those who have more time to dig through longer resources, start with this webpage, which includes writing activities that center translanguaging.

Translangugaing in 15 Minutes

In these two helpful videos, Mike Mena breaks down the theory of translanguaging, which is often confused for code switching, to help us rethink the way we view the hierarchies of languages in the US. These videos are a great place to start if you’re new to translanguaging; or even for those more familiar with the idea, it’s a great refresher to make sure we are understanding this revolutionary theory.

We Want to Do More Than Survive

In this phenomenal panel discussion, Bettina Love, Genevieve DeBose Akinnagbe, and Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz discuss Dr. Love's book We Want to Do More Than Survive, which addresses the racism in education. Dr. Love suggests Abolitionist Teaching as a way of life that all educators need to commit to. Check out this fascinating talk to reflect more on how racism shows up in our own classes and what we can do about it.

What is Critical Race Theory?

For those looking for more information on Critical Race Theory, especially since it is mentioned in the news daily, take a look at this article. What truly is CRT? The author provides the definition and history of CRT while connecting it to our education system today. They also address myths surrounding CRT which cause many people to misunderstand its purpose in our classrooms.

Why English Class is Silencing Students of Color

From YouTube description: "Viral TED speaker, spoken word poet, and social justice education scholar Dr. Jamila Lyiscott makes a powerful argument that, to honor and legitimize all students, we must, likewise, legitimize and honor all of their varied forms of written and spoken discourse, practicing 'Liberation Literacies' in the classroom."

Worth the Risk: Towards Decentering Whiteness in English Language Teaching

In this article the author reveals how English Language Teaching (ELT) centers whiteness and its negative impact on teachers and students of color. The author also provides suggestions for how ELT educators can de-center whiteness in the ELT field.