Multilingual Youth Perspectives on Humanizing Core Practices

Multilingual Youth Perspectives on Humanizing Core Practices

Daisy E. Fredricks (Grand Valley State University, USA) and Megan Madigan Peercy (University of Maryland, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3448-9.ch006
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In this chapter, the authors draw upon the teaching practices multilingual youth identified as important to their learning in the classroom, to add to the field's understanding of core practices for teaching multilingual learners. This qualitative study highlights various strategies that secondary immigrant multilingual youth recommend teachers use when supporting learning in the classroom, some that bolster the existing research base on learning English as an additional language, and others that were relatively new contributions based on youth perspectives. A close examination of the multilingual youth perspectives and experiences has implications for creating and sustaining humanizing and equitable pedagogical practices in the classroom.
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Providing multilingual youth with an equitable education requires that all teachers are exceptionally well-prepared to support youth learning needs. Recent teacher education scholarship suggests that effective preparation of novice teachers requires more meaningful opportunities for novice teachers to engage in specific intentional practices than has historically been the case in most US teacher preparation programs (Brownell, et al., 2019). Research also demonstrates the lack of preparation for teachers who serve multilingual youth (Faltis & Valdés, 2016; Viesca & Teemant, 2019) though there is a growing body of scholarship that has offered some guiding frameworks, principles, practices, and strategies for educators serving such learners (Bunch, 2013; de Jong & Harper, 2005; Lucas et al., 2008). Utilizing sociocultural theories of learning (Johnson, 2009; Vygotsky, 1978) and calls to humanize approaches to instruction with minoritized learners (e.g., Bartolomé, 1994; Bartolomé & Trueba, 2000), this study contributes a perspective of core practices as providing a foundation for novice teachers to understand, enact, and reflect on effective pedagogical practices across a range of content-areas, grade levels, and teaching contexts. The larger goal of this research is to support social, emotional, and content-based learning for multilingual youth through intentional, skillful, and humanizing teaching.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Humanizing Pedagogies: The planning and enactment of pedagogical practices that are aligned with learner experiences and perspectives, and validate and honor their culture, home languages, and lived experiences with the larger goal of advancing equity and social justice through day-to-day classroom interactions.

Multimodal Tools: Describe various types of texts, tools, and technologies that utilize multiple modes of communication (e.g., images, text, audio, etc.) that youth engage with in order to make meaning.

Core Practices: Strategies, practices, teaching moves, and/or routines that are viewed as foundational to teaching youth in classrooms as they support learning.

Sheltered-Instruction: A form of teaching that centers on developing content-area knowledge and also developing English language proficiency by using strategies and pedagogical practices the support both endeavors.

Practice-Based Teacher Education: An approach to preparing novice teachers to enact key—or core— pedagogical practices.

Emergent Bilingual: An asset-based term that refers to an individual’s ability to develop their bilingualism. This term replaces other labels like English learner in order to advance equity by highlighting the resources bilingual youth bring to the classroom.

Novice Teacher: A current student or recent graduate of a teacher preparation program that is new to the teaching profession.

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