National Writing Project

NWP Radio—Language Diversity and Literacy Instruction

Date: February 24, 2011

Summary: In this episode, we look at language diversity through various linguistic perspectives and discuss the ways in which language diversity is addressed across our network. In light of demographic trends across our country, how are writing projects designing work that meets the linguistic needs of the teachers and the children they serve?

 

Excerpt from Show

It means we should move away from subtractive literacy models and regard the ability to switch between languages, registers, and dialects as an educational goal. Not just as the advantage we want our children to have when they enter the workplace, but as a way to access the culture of power.

But these changes in how language diversity is perceived will not take place unless districts and schools present language diversity as a positive factor, as a classroom and community resource.

We need to start thinking in more inclusive terms too, changing our concept of language to embrace indigenous and sign languages, as well as marginalized dialects.

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Duration: 1 hour

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