A strengths-based approach to making sure what we teach is central to who we teach.
Rapidly changing and diverse student populations necessitate culturally responsive schooling. It can be a challenging balancing act for educators to respect diversity and teach to each student’s needs while adhering to restrictive curricula that mandate the use of standard English. Responsive Schooling for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students offers a balanced approach to developing students’ academic language proficiency while simultaneously honoring, acknowledging, and valuing the richness of their home and community languages and cultures.
Debbie Zacarian and Ivannia Soto provide a practical framework within which schools and educators can make students’ personal, cultural, and social identities central to the curriculum by drawing on the experiences and interests they bring to the classroom. Filled with examples of responsive teaching and opportunities to reflect on current practice, the book is a rich resource for teachers and school leaders alike.
About the Author
Debbie Zacarian, founder of Zacarian & Associates, is known for her expertise in strengths-based leadership, instructional practices, and partnerships with culturally and linguistically diverse student and family populations. With over three decades of combined experience as a district administrator, university faculty member, and educational service agency leader, she has been providing professional development throughout the United States. She has written many books and more than 100 journal articles and district, and state policies focused on leadership and instructional practices with diverse learners—including English leaners, academic language learners, and students living with adversity.
Ivannia Soto is a professor at Whittier College where she specializes in second language acquisition, systemic reform for English language learners (ELLs), and urban education. She is Executive Director of the Institute for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching at Whittier College, whose mission is to promote relevant research and develop academic resources for ELLs and Standard English Learners (SELs) via linguistically and culturally responsive teaching practices. Dr. Soto has presented on literacy and language topics at various conferences, including the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE), the California Association for Bilingual Association (CABE), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the National Urban Education Conference.
Debbie Zacarian and Ivannia Soto masterfully translate culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy into practical, ready-to-implement strategies for teachers of culturally and linguistically diverse students. Their new book is a much-needed resource that will help all educators create empowering learning environments and apply effective instructional practices that build on students’ strengths rather than focus on deficiencies!
— Andrea Honigsfeld, Author and Professor, Molloy College
Debbie Zacarian and Ivannia Soto’s Responsive Schooling for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students is a timely new contribution to the conversation around supporting CLD students. Zacarian and Soto present a rare combination of relevant research, theory, and opportunities for real-world application, drawing from their vast expertise in the field. I highly recommend this book for all teachers to ensure they have the latest tools at their fingertips to provide CLD students a more equitable education.
— Diane Staehr Fenner, PhD, President, SupportEd, LLC
The authors address valuable questions the field is asking: Why culturally responsive teaching, and what does this look like? They demonstrate a balanced approach to instruction and provide ways in which schools can work with parents and community. Additionally, the scenarios, tips, reflection tasks, and other tools give the reader opportunities to discuss in learning communities how to adapt and implement these great ideas.
— Margarita Calderón, PhD, Professor Emerita, Johns Hopkins University
How should one judge an academic book? Three ways include: whether the coverage of content is accurate and sufficiently exhaustive, whether the writing is easy enough to read, and whether the content and style are appropriate for the audience. The answer to each of these three questions for Responsive Schooling for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students is yes. This is an excellent book, one that should be a useful supplement to teachers’ libraries... I would recommend it as part of in-service and preservice training for all teachers.
— Teachers College Record