Teacher Agency: Educators Moving from a Fixed to a Growth Mindset

User Generated Education

It is a myth that we operate under a set of oppressive bureaucratic constraints. In reality, teachers have a great deal of autonomy in the work they chose to do in their classrooms. In most cases it is our culture that provides the constraints. For individual teachers, trying out new practices and pedagogy is risky business and both our culture, and our reliance on hierarchy, provide the ideal barriers for change not to occur. As Pogo pointed out long ago, “we have met the enemy and it is us.” http://www.cea-ace.ca/blog/brian-harrison/2013/09/5/stop-asking-permission-change

Educational psychology has focused on the concepts of learned helplessness and more currently growth-fixed mindsets as a way to explain how and why students give up in the classroom setting.  These ideas can also be applied to educators in this day of forced standardization, testing, scripted curriculum, and school initiatives.

Many educators feel forced into a paradigm of teaching where they feel subjected to teaching practices…

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When Feedback Met Bloom

What a wonderful way to provide feedback to students.


If you’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to Dylan Wiliam or reading John Hattie’s work then you will see there is definitely a meeting of minds, the meeting of two great minds if truth be told.  They both champion feedback as one of the most powerful ways of enhancing learning but are also very clear that this is not just any old feedback.  Assessment for learning has now been so re-worked, abused and adapted we have probably lost sight of its real power and purpose.

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To support or not support? That is the question.

Shanahan argued that, learning to read is an interaction between a learner, a text, and a teacher. This link illustrates two theories that are being applied in US schools on a daily basis. With text complexity being the new demand, teachers will not only have to serve as instructors of text, they will have to mediate the struggles that their students will have with texts.

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Assessment and Accommodations: A Response to Dr. Shanahan’s Blog, The Lindsay Lohan Award for Poor Judgment or Dopey Doings in the Annals of Testing

On July 21st, Dr. Shanahan awarded the Lindsay Lohan award to the PARCC consortium for its poor decision on allowing its reading test to be read to struggling readers. Namely, PARCC has permitted a read-to accommodation for K-12 learners identified for special education services with mild to moderate disabilities.  See a snapshot of PARCC’s April version of the Assessment and Accommodations Manual and its June version of the PARCC Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual  (PARCC, April 2013; June 2013).

PARCC testing accommodations snapshot

PARCC testing accommodations snapshot from April 2013

It is important to note that PARCC stated, “the accommodations listed … neither change the construct measured by the test [construct validity], nor the claims of PARCC tests (for example, that a student can “read and comprehend a variety of texts independently”) when [accommodations] are used only by the very small number of students who are unable to access the tests and/or provide responses without their use, and who use these accommodations routinely during instruction”(p. 44, April, 2013).

The general rule for using testing accommodations is if the student’s specialized instruction included a read-to accommodation, then the student’s assessment should include a read-to accommodation as well. As a result of this precept, the reading instruction that many struggling readers primarily receive is chock full of read-to accommodations and reading strategies instead of reading instruction that builds a student’s knowledge base. There is no wonder as to why struggling readers fundamentally learn to depend upon the read-to accommodation; ultimately never learning to fully read for themselves.

As Shanahan argued,  the read-to accommodation inevitably changes the construct of the reading test to that of a listening test, unavoidably reducing the validity and reliability of PARCC’s ELA test and PARCC’s claim that a student can “read and comprehend a variety of texts independently”.

Still, if educators and special educators really want to foster reading independence and not listening comprehension in students with disabilities, then they will have to use instructional practices such as close reading, reading of complex text, and repeated reading consistently during the academic year in order to scaffold struggling readers to self-sufficient reading. In other words, teachers must avoid the mitigation of written text and indulge in textual mediation.

Therefore, I agree with Dr. Shanahan on presenting the Lindsay Lohan award to the PARCC consortium for the following reasons: according to Luke & Schwartz (2010),

(1) the research “does not provide definitive answers to guide thoughtful policy and practice in [the] area [of testing accommodations] (Chiu & Pearson, 1999; Johnstone, Altman, Thurlow, & Thompson, 2006; Koenig & Bachman, 2004; Sireci et al., 2003; Tindal & Fuchs, 1999; Thompson, Blount, & Thurlow, 2002). Considering the very real implications related to the use of accommodations and their extensive application across testing environments, the lack of conclusive direction from the research base is both disappointing and frustrating” (2013).

Since there is no conclusive direction or definitive answers on testing accommodations, PARCC States can take this opportunity to start fresh with the new PARCC assessments and measure student achievement without a read-to accommodation.  This would provide parents with a true picture of their child’s performance levels in literacy and it would further validate PARCC’s performance level descriptors.

(2) Accommodations affect test scores for students with disabilities, lowering scores in some cases, raising scores in most others (Chiu & Pearson, 1999; Elliott et al., 1999; Elliott, Kratochwill, & McKevitt, 2001; Kettler et al., 2005; McKevitt, 2000; Koenig & Bachman, 2004; Schulte, Elliott, & Kratochwill, 2001; Tindal, Heath, Hollenbeck, Almond, & Harniss, 1998). Lowered scores appear to result when accommodations are poorly matched to student need or when the student has not had sufficient opportunity to practice using an accommodation in day-to-day settings prior to the testing situation.

If accommodations are having these types of affects on student scores, then shouldn’t educators and special educators reconsider their usage of them? Moreover, if students are being poorly matched with accommodations, then perhaps they are also being poorly matched with reading instruction.

(3)The use of read-aloud accommodations on assessments of mathematics for students with low reading skills and the use of Braille for blind students were found to be the most effective accommodations in a meta-analytic synthesis by Tindal & Fuchs (1999).

Because Tindal and Fuchs’ (1999) meta-analytic synthesis did not find the usage of accommodations on reading tests among the most effective, one could assume that  the accommodations used for reading are not necessarily minimizing the impact of the student’s disability on his or her reading achievement. Hence, is there really a need for a read-to accommodation on a reading test?

If PARCC really wants to provide educators and parents with a true measure of a student’s reading ability based on the CCSS assessments, then PARCC should reconsider their Special Access Accommodations for Students with Disabilities and rely more heavily on the Universally Designed Embedded Supports and Accessibility Features for All Students, enhancing the reliability and validity of the PARCC tests and helping educators better serve struggling readers.

In my humble judgement, I’m sure Dr. Shanahan would agree with me on the following notion:

PARCC could be awarded the Samuel L. Jackson achievement award for the highest-grossing consortium in readership by eliminating the read-to accommodation on its assessment for the sake of maximizing testing independence.  Samuel L. Jackson is a model of good choices and decent judgments. His smart decisions have influenced his talent, wealth, and most importantly his relationships. He is Hollywood’s embodiment of smart decision making (type “highest grossing actor of all time” into Google and see how fast his name comes up). Given that, it is fitting to name an award for good judgment after him since he holds the Guinness World Record for highest-grossing actor ever.

By and large, one could argue that students who are deemed Career and College Ready by the PARCC assessments who have received a read-to accommodation would also need to receive a read-to accommodation in college or technical school. (I don’t think we can count on many professors and instructors in traditional colleges and technical schools to deliver that type of accommodation to their learners.) Hence, eliminating the read-to accommodation would require educators and special educators alike to adopt reading instructional practices that encourage struggling readers to read independently. On the other hand, adding a read-to accommodation to the PARCC reading tests changes the construct validity and testing reliability as it works to sweeten up the reading scores of the local education agencies who administer the PARCC measures. Hence, as Samuel L. Jackson’s Trip character in the movie Juice (1992) stated, (a fact that PARCC should consider) “Just ’cause you pour syrup on something doesn’t make it pancakes!” In other words, just because you add a read-to accommodation to an assessment doesn’t make the student an independent reader.

"Just 'cause you pour syrup on something doesn't make it pancakes!"

Samuel L. Jackson as Trip in the film Juice (1992).


Luke, S. D., & Schwartz, A. (2010, October). Assessment and Accommodations. Retrieved from National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities: http://nichcy.org/research/ee/assessment-accommodations

PARCC (2013, April 17). PARCC Draft Accommodations Manual. Retrieved from Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC): http://ca539dfd55636c55e922-fd4c048d1c793e15a27f954b34a49d25.r49.cf1.rackcdn.com/PARCCDraftAccommodationsManualforSWDEL.pdf

PARCC (2013, June 19). PARCC Accessibility features and Accommodations Manuel. Retrieved from Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC): http://www.parcconline.org/sites/parcc/files/PARCCDraftAccessibilityFeaturesandAccommodationsManual61913finalGB.pdf 

Shanahan, T. (2013, July 21). The Lindsay Lohan Award for Poor Judgment or Dopey Doings in the Annals of Testing. Retrieved from Shanahan on Literacy: http://www.shanahanonliteracy.com/2013/07/the-lindsay-lohan-award-for-poor.html

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Teacher as Mediator of Complex Text

On January 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act. This law significantly impacted literacy instruction across the US because it mandated instruction in early literacy to be based on scientific research. As a result, instructional level theory, a theory which was posited by Betts in 1946, permeated early literacy instruction as well as intermediate literacy instruction for a decade. Betts (1948) claimed that research showed learning was optimized if students were placed within text of appropriate difficulty levels (i.e., frustration leveled text, instructional leveled text, and independent leveled text). On the contrary, Betts’ instructional level theory is questionable because it rests upon a study that never took place (Shanahan, 1983). As a result, millions of children have received scientifically based mandated reading instruction supported by artificially based research.

Currently, the Common Core State Standards has replaced the No Child Left Behind Act and these standards require reading instruction to encompass a level of text complexity that is considerably higher than what the instructional level theory prescribed. In fact, instructional level theory would consider the usage of complex text to be both frustrational and incomprehensible to most readers.

Instructional Level Theory

Instructional Level Theory

Nonetheless, Shanahan (2011) purported that Powell’s theory of mediated texts supports the usage of complex text with students. Moreover, learning is best when harder texts are used. Powell (1968) claimed that the mediation or intervention made by the instructor actually facilitates comprehension and not the act of matching texts to readers.

Mediated Text Theory

Mediated Text Theory

As a result of Betts instructional level theory, over the years many entrepreneurial enterprises in education have adopted the instructional level theory for their goods and services, selling millions of instructional reading programs to public and private schools across the US.  Furthermore, Put Reading First, presented arguments in an entrepreneurial spirit that often conflicted with what the research actually indicated (Allington, 2013). Too many educators took that document as “truth,” and reading lessons were altered, as was reading curriculum and assessment (Allington, 2013).  Today instructional level theory continues to contribute to the perpetual remediation of reading instruction for students; disproportionately more for minority and poor students. Furthermore, instructional level theory practically eliminated complex texts from elementary and secondary curriculum causing material selection by teachers to be pigeonholed in a readability score.

Funds of Knowledge ignored.

Funds of Knowledge ignored.

Fidelity to flawed commercial reading programs became a goal in too many schools, especially schools serving low-income children (Allington, 2013).  Commercial reading programs founded on the leveled text theory caused many schools serving low-income children to adopt the deficit model. The “deficit” model focuses on the student as the major problem, neither looking within the environment nor the instructional practices in the classroom. By adopting the deficit model, many poor children and minority children became the target for lower level instruction with lower level texts (Weiner, 2006).

Still, the Common Core State Standards provides an opportunity for literacy instruction in schools to abandon Betts’ instructional level theory and adopt Powell’s mediated level theory for literacy instruction.  Lamas, Imams, Priests, Prophets, Pastors, Ministers, and Rabbis have been using complex texts for centuries within their vast denominations, leaving no reader behind. Hence, it is very much possible that highly qualified teachers can do the same by serving as a mediator of learning with complex text.  Shanahan noted that readability measures predict reading comprehension, not learning (2011). Hence learning should not be held captive based on a readability measure.  Learning for all students can flourish by adopting Powell’s mediated text theory. Readers of all levels and backgrounds would learn from complex text with the aid and guidance of a highly qualified teacher.

Learning to read is an interaction between a learner, a text, and a teacher. If the teacher is doing little to support the students’ transactions with text then more learning will accrue with somewhat easier texts. However, if reasonable levels of instructional support are available then students are likely to thrive when working with harder texts. Instead of trying to get kids to optimum levels, that is the levels that would allow them to learn most, they have striven to get kids to levels where they will likely learn best with minimal teacher support. The common core standards push back against the notion that students learn best when they receive the least teaching. The writers of the standards believe challenging text is the right ground to maximize learning… but the only way that will work is if kids are getting substantial teaching support in the context of that hard text (Shanahan, 2011).

In sum, if educators really want to close the achievement gap in literacy, then they need to reject the instructional level theory and stop the perpetual remedial reading instruction of low-income and minority students. They need to adopt the funds of knowledge model and employ highly qualified teachers to implement a 21st century curriculum that will accelerate rather than remediate learning for all students.


Allington, R.L. (2013). What Really Matters When Working With Struggling Readers. The Reading Teacher, 66(7), 520–530. doi: 10.1002/TRTR.1154

Armbruster, B., Lehr, F., & Osborn, J. (2001). Put reading first. Washington, DC: National Institute for Literacy.

Betts, E. A. (1946). Foundations of reading instruction. New York: American Book Company.

Powell, W. R. (1968). Reappraising the criteria for interpreting informal inventories. Washington, DC: ERIC 5194164.

Shanahan, T. (1983). The informal reading inventory and the instructional level: The study that never took place. In L. Gentile, M. L. Kamil, & J. Blanchard (Eds.), Reading research revisited, (pp. 577–580). Columbus, OH: Merrill.

Shanahan, T. (2011). Rejecting instructional level theory. http://www.shanahanonliteracy.com/2011/08/rejecting-instructional-level-theory.html Retrieved June 12, 2013.

Weiner, L. (2006). Challenging deficit thinking. Educational Leadership, 64(1), 42-45. Retrieved from https://ezproxy.pgcc.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/224848557?accountid=13315

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SoMIRAC’s 21st Century Newsletter

SoMIRAC logo

SoMIRAC logo

The second edition of the 21st Century Literacy Leaders newsletter is now available. The purpose of this newsletter is to provide specialized information to Maryland’s literacy leaders. As our state’s schools build teacher capacity in preparation for the Common Core State Standards, it is essential that Maryland’s literacy leaders understand the demands of these standards and keep abreast of the best approach, methods, and/or practices that will get our students career and college ready. Peruse the inaugural issue and join our group in LinkedIn for continued discussion.

Literacy Leaders Newsletter vol. 2

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Reflections on Cuba: Functionally Eradicating Illiteracy

Cuba is a fascinating diverse island nation with a complex history and a rich culture. While on the island, I got the opportunity to visit a teacher preparation program within a university, an elementary school, and a school for individuals with physical challenges. The purpose of my visit to Cuba was to investigate the impact of the 1961 Cuban literacy project and its long term effects on the general public.

School Children

School Children

The Cuban literacy project of 1961 helped to eradicate illiteracy on this island nation. As a result of this project, Cuban males and females ages 15 and over have a literacy rate of 99.8% (C.I.A World Factbook, nd). Rates of this level in a developing nation are quite impressive. Hence, one could ask how would 15 year old Cuban students compare to the rest of the world on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). I make this conclusion because PISA’s definition of reading is “understanding, using, reflecting on and engaging with written texts, in order to achieve one’s goals, to develop one’s knowledge and potential, and to participate in society.” (OECD, 2009, p. 23). What I witnessed in Cuba was students comprehending, using, and reflecting on written text in order to achieve a goal. However, at the core of the literacy program is a differentiated set of texts that primarily focus on the central theme of socialism. This caused me to wonder, what is literacy when it is being used to control?

Graphic showing Cuba's literacy rateAfter traveling to Cuba in 2011 with a research delegation associated with the International Reading Association, I submit that Cuba’s literacy rate of 99.8% is more functional than critical in nature. Eames (2002) argued that critical literacy is the highest stage of literacy on the hierarchy. Critical literacists such as Lankshear and McLaren (1993), and Giroux (1993) argued that literacy is social, ideological, plural, critical, ethical, emancipatory, and political. Thus critical literacy “goes beyond a skills-based approach [and is] based on higher level comprehension and interpretation of complex issues by introducing a decidedly socio-political and ideological dimension” (Phelps, 2010, p. 192). Hence, one could assert that the Cuban pedagogical and curricular absolutism yields high functional literacy rates while creating situated literacies that solely serve Cuban autocracy.

Situated literacy is a form of social practice that utilizes literacy events and activities (Hamilton, 2000). Literacy events are defined as observable episodes in which literacy has a role (Barton & Hamilton, 1998). Abstract literacy practices shape the literacy events (Pinsent-Johnson, 2004). These abstract yet complex literacy practices encompass the values, attitudes, feelings, and social relationships that individuals bring to literacy activities (Pinsent-Johnson, 2004). Therefore, literacy is tied to people, settings, tools, and actions of culturally-bound activities (Pinsent-Johnson, 2004).

Situated literacy is based on situated cognition theory. Situated cognition theory “claims that every human thought is adapted to the environment, that is, situated, because what people perceive, how they conceive of their activity, and what they physically do develop together” (Driscoll, 2005, p. 157). Situated cognition theory emphasizes sociocultural settings and the activities of the people within that setting in contrast to the cognitive information processing theory, which focuses on the individual (Driscoll, 2005). Within these sociocultural settings lies the ability to construct new knowledge using the intellectual tools of one’s culture within a co-constitutive process.

Worthman and Kaplan (2001) noted that during their visit to Cuba, most of its people defined their world verbally but were “unable to define their lives within the context of desired action or of what needed to be done to change their circumstance” (p. 649). They also noted that Cuba’s literacy instruction has an emphasis on mastering the mechanical aspects of reading, similar to remedial programs used in the US, and the acquisition of the political and moral messages contained in the reading books (Worthman and Kaplan, 2001). “Oral reading and oral response to teacher questions foster rote acquisition of story content that, based on students’ enthusiastic yet mechanistic response, appears to be repeated from story to story even as the characters and settings change” (Worthman and Kaplan, 2001, p. 654). Like Worthman and Kaplan, I argue that Cuban literacy is “grounded in an objectified, authoritarian presentation and understanding of the world” (p. 655). This form of situated literacy has freed Cubans from the oppression of one totalitarian regime, while apparently leaving them with an insufficient number of emancipatory ideas for dealing with the current regime (Worthman and Kaplan, p. 655).

For this reason, I liken the Cuban literacy project of 1961 to Plato’s cave. A native Cuban student is like the prisoner in the cave. He or she receives reading instruction that is functional and solely useful for processing and comprehending the shadows on the wall without critique, confining his or her ability to discover his or her true being.


Central Intelligence Agency (nd). Central America and Caribbean: Cuba. Retrieved November 6, 2011, from The Central Intelligence Agency World Fact Book: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cu.html

Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of Learning for Instruction. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Eames, F. H. (2002). Changing definitions and concepts of literacy: implications for pedagogy and Research, in G. Reid and J. Wearmouth (eds.) Dyslexia and Literacy: theory to practice; John Wiley and Sons : NY

Giroux, H. (1993). Literacy and the politics of difference. In C. Lankshear and P. McLaren (Eds.), Critical literacy: Politics, praxis, and the postmodern (pp. 367-377). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Hamilton, M. (2000). Expanding the new literacy studies: Using photographs to explore literacy as social practice. In D. Barton, M. Hamilton, & R. Ivanič (Eds.), Situated literacies: Reading and writing in context (pp. 16-34). London: Routledge.
Lankshear, C. & McLaren, P. (1993). Critical Literacy: Politics, praxis, and the postmodern. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

OECD. (2009). PISA 2009: Assessment Framework Key competencies in reading, mathematics and science. Paris, France.

Phelps, S.. (2010). Critical Literacy: Using Nonfiction to Learn About Islam. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(3), 190-198. Retrieved November 6, 2011, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID: 2190508801).Pinsent-Johnson, C. (2004). What does sociocultural learning and literacy look like in an adult employment preparation program? Retrieved November 6, 2011, from National Adult Literacy Database: http://www.nald.ca/library/research/aempprep/aempprep.pdf

Worthman, C. & Kaplan, L. (2001). Literacy education and dialogical exchange: Impressions of Cuban education in one classroom. The Reading Teacher, 54(7), 648-656. Retrieved November 6, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 70443378).

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SoMIRAC’s 21st Century Literacy Leaders Committee unveils its inaugural newsletter

SoMIRAC logoThe State of Maryland International Reading Association Council’s 21st Century Literacy Leaders Committee released its first bi-monthly newsletter. The purpose of this newsletter is to provide specialized information to Maryland’s literacy leaders. As our state’s schools build teacher capacity in preparation for the Common Core State Standards, it is essential that Maryland’s literacy leaders understand the demands of these standards and keep abreast of the best approach, methods, and/or practices that will get our students career and college ready. Peruse the inaugural issue and join our group in LinkedIn for continued discussion.

Literacy Leaders Newsletter

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Why are educators petrified to assign complex text?

At first, I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking, I could never live without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights thinking, how you did me wrong
And I grew strong and I learned how to get along

Educators, you can survive without catering to your students’ self-esteem. Plus, you and your students will learn to get along without it. Don’t be afraid of letting your students grapple with complex learning; much more, grapple with complex reading passages. It will not harm their self-esteem.


Text complexity and complex text simply restated is stimulating, exceptional literature that requires critical thinking. Lamas, Imams, Priests, Prophets, Pastors, Ministers, and Rabbis have been using complex texts for centuries within their vast denominations, leaving no reader behind.

So why are so many educators scared of designing lessons that require students to wrestle with content and to extend their thinking? Perhaps the self-esteem movement is part of the blame. In the 70s, many educators believed that raising their students’ self-esteem was in concert with raising their students’ academic achievement.  However, “this so-called self-esteem movement proved to be ill conceived” (Aspen Education Group, 2013, para, 1).  Even so, today, many educators still believe that having high self-esteem increases academic achievement.  To make matters worse, the topic of self-esteem is saturated in the research literature, and the results show that having a “high self-esteem for the sake of personal validation, meaning self-esteem that is not based on actual personal achievement or positive behavior, is not necessarily a healthy thing” (Aspen Education Group, 2013, para. 1). Hence, allowing students to grapple with complex passages and learning tasks will not harm them. In fact, research shows that students will actually live when they are given authentic intellectual work. Moreover, teachers and leaders will have fulfilling careers when asked to design authentic intellectual work tasks for students to grapple with.

So how does this look in practice?

  1. Setting clear instructional objectives will help students set the stage for the amount of effort needed to grapple with complex learning tasks.
  2. Reassuring students that they will get support as they grapple with complex tasks will most certainly increase their motivation and participation.
  3. Addressing learning outcomes via scales or rubrics will provide students with clarity on where to focus their efforts as they grapple with complex learning tasks.
  4. Rewarding students’ efforts for grappling with complex tasks will decrease their resistance towards grappling with complexity in the future.

Hence, if educators follow these simple steps, then they too can sing, “I’ll survive, I will survive, hey, hey” (Fekaris, 1978).


Aspen Eduacation Group. (2013, January 8). Can Your Teen Have Too Much Self-Esteem? Retrieved from Aspen Education Group: http://aspeneducation.crchealth.com/article-too-much-self-esteem/

Fekaris, F. P. (Composer). (1978). I Will Survive. [G. Gaynor, Performer] New York, New York, United States.

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Linguistics anyone?

I am currently reading a book entitled, Understanding English Language Variation in U.S. Schools by Drs. Hudley and Mallinson (2011).

English Language Variation

English Language Variation

They submitted that, “all educators need knowledge and tools to understand their students’ language differences and variations, address the language-related challenges they may face, and support their educational development and academic progress” (p. 1). In other words, in-service teachers need to be sensitive to the linguistic differences of their learners in order to support the developmental needs of students as they acquire standardized American English for academic purposes. Knowledge of standardized American English, vernacular variances, and sociolinguistics will support the pedagogy of educators by allowing them to scaffold their students’ linguistic competence and academic language acquisition. Tools mentioned by the authors include diverse assessments and appropriate materials for teaching academic language acquisition and linguistic competence. For instance, teachers of children who speak African American Vernacular English must understand that language is “a vehicle for transmitting sociologically-relevant content” (Mallinson, 2009, p. 301). Hence, instructors must make room in their coursework that “incorporates learning exercises that help students examine how talk shapes social life” and academic achievement (Mallinson, 2009, p. 302). Therefore, educators cannot do this if they lack the knowledge and tools to do so. In sum, to be an educator is to also be a linguist. One cannot effectively impart content area knowledge without its disciplinary terminology.

Charity Hudley, Anne H., and Christine Mallinson. Understanding English Language Variation in U.S. Schools. New York: Teachers College Press. (2011)
Mallinson, Christine. “Language, Interaction, and Inequality: A Teaching Exercise for the Sociological Classroom.” Teaching Sociology 37: 301-8.

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