Developing Educator Expertise to Work with Adolescent English Learners Module 2 – The Language We Use to Talk about English Learners and Our Work
Through the modules in this series, the National Research and Development Center to Improve Education for Secondary English Learners promotes a thorough understanding the theories that underlie pedagogical activity with English Learners. In Module 2 of this series, we explore how we often, without intention, use language that may convey ideas and promote actions that are detrimental to our students. Language is action. As we talk, we act on the world and on people. We construct identities and we build, or destroy, relationships. The way we talk with and about our students contributes to the shaping of their lives, either positively or negatively.
Module 2 raises educator awareness of our use of language, the terms we use to talk about learning and teaching, and the labels and phrases we use to talk about our students. Throughout the module, the premise is that our language is powerful in signaling our feelings and positions and as such, it carries powerful -intended or unintended- messages. The module, furthermore, elaborates on Guadalupe Valdés’s “curricularization of language” and other negative conceptualizations of our work with English Learners.
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