Teaching Tips

Words Matter: Words and Phrases We Need to Retire

As language educators, we teach students the importance of looking at shades of meaning and of choosing our words carefully when communicating.  However, do we teach students to consider how their words may impact those from minority racial backgrounds?  A microaggression is a seemingly small statement that directly or indirectly insults someone on the basis…

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Microaggressions: Forever Alien in One’s Own Land

“How do they celebrate Three Kings’ Day in Mexico?” I once observed a teacher ask one of her Dual Language students.   The question seemed innocent enough.  She was trying to build sociocultural competence in her classroom by being inclusive of all her students as the upcoming holiday approached.  However, the student felt uncomfortable.  While his…

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6 Strategies to Elevate the Status of Bilingualism

The Status of English I stayed at home with my daughter for the first five years of her life, largely because I wanted to ensure that she would speak our mother tongue, Tamil.  I feared that sending her to daycare would introduce her to English way too early.  Nevertheless, once she started school, even when…

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