Teaching Reading Skills in Diverse Class

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Due to the changes in society, the growing amount of diversity in our classrooms are evident. Educators must adapt to strategies to ensure all students have an equal opportunity to a valuable education. Evidence-based methods and strategies for reading can increase school understandings in helping students succeed at a grade level in most subject areas (Portes, Gonzalez Canche, Boada, & Whatley, 2018). As our nation see the rise in diversity and multicultural societies, it is vital that teachers incorporate culturally recognized instruction when teaching students.

In today’s classrooms diversity is not only considered with race and ethnicity, but is also recognized to include different religions, economic strategies, gender identification, language barriers, and exceptionally needed student. Awareness in diversity and the understanding of various cultures, benefits all students. It does not only benefit the diverse students but encourages all students to be acceptive of others and helps prepare everyone to thrive in a diverse world. Students will experience diversity in and out of the classrooms; therefore, it is important they are prepared to adjust to a changing world and embrace those who are different from themselves.

There are many ways educators can make sure their classrooms and curriculums are receptive to changes in our society. In an inclusive classroom, educators understand the differences in students and work with them to maintain a learning environment. The use of different methods to provide the learning material and give students the opportunity to share what they know. The educators must also recognize that students learn in different ways and bring valuable views to the subject matter. The parents and community involvement also play a huge role in the classroom learning experience.

This can be accomplished through the parents assisting the teachers in the understanding of their individual child and helping the teacher with the awareness of their culture and student needs. It is imperative for teachers to learn the abilities and understandings of each student; this is to improve the student’s access to successfully achieving their literary goals.

Understanding Literacy Instruction for Diverse Elementary Students

To effectively teach literacy in elementary schools, researchers (Portes, Gonzalez Canche, Boada, & Whatley, 2018) has found that intervention methods have been determined to improve reading comprehension. Providing diverse students learning interventions to improve their reading at an early stage is important, as these students are considered at risk early in schools. In todays schools, they are trying to become more effective with the growing population of diverse students, as they are considered underserved and haven’t been exposed to evident-based intervention methods in school (Portes, Gonzalez Canche, Boada, & Whatley, 2018).

Although policies have been implemented to assist with the teaching of diverse students, these students are often left behind. A model was constructed to promote teaching students by first language and to include culturally based instruction. For this method to be effective, teachers would need to use their knowledge and understanding of each student and learn to build on a student’s background to provide productive instruction. By teachers implementing this idea, students will be engaged, motivated, and have access to meaningful curriculum (Portes, Gonzalez Canche, Boada, & Whatley, 2018).

With the demographic changes, there is a growing understanding within the education world, that the one-size fits all traditional approach is faulty and no longer relevant. The achievement gaps between diverse and non-diverse students has been a concern, educators are discussing ways to narrow the achievement gaps (Byfield, 2019).

The National Education Association, examined data for the schools and districts to determine the best strategies in providing all students a fighting chance to achieving set standards; such as, enhancing cultural competence, comprehension support for students, outreach to students families, extend learning opportunities, and classrooms that support learning, supportive schools, strong district support, access to qualified staff, and adequate resources and funding (National Education Association , 2002-2019).

Many of these standards have been around for years; however, with the cultural gap in many nations, some educators struggle to better serve students from cultures other than their own (Roekel, 2008). Roekel (2008), reported that cultural gaps between students and their teachers can become a factor in the student’s academic performance and impact the student’s achievement gaps. The NEA believe that all students deserve a quality education and with training and understanding of diverse students needs, educators will become knowledgeable and equipped to better serve diverse students.

For teachers to apply this practices, they can support students by valuing diversity, ensuring they are culturally self-aware, understanding the dynamics of cultural interactions, and institutionalizing cultural knowledge and adopting diversity (Roekel, 2008). According to Roekel (2018), value student’s diversity, educators must accept and respect the student differences and ensure the students are considered when planning instruction for the class. Many times, educators believe their own culture is the basis for correctness when dealing with others; however, being culturally self-aware and understanding that their experience, background, believes and values are not always the same as others.

In a diverse classroom there are many students that come from different cultures, religions, and economical statuses that shape who they are and their understanding of the learning process. Educators need to consider and embrace those differences to ensure all students feel inclusive in the learning process. Understanding the dynamics of different cultures and interactions, will allow educators to be knowledgeable of the many factors that affects student interactions with others. Lastly, educators must design education instruction based on the understanding of the students needs.

When it comes to English Learning Students, many times students are characterized by race, which leaves other diversity measures out. Although many ELS students are learning to speak English as a second language, there are many of them who are American born and English is their first language learned (Byfield, 2019). Therefore, educators should get to know and understand each student individually and not assume they should be placed in one category. This is when the importance to know your students is into play.

In addition, often Hispanics are the English learning group that are considered, without acknowledging English learners from other cultures, who could also struggle with dialects as well. By confusing race to determine diversity groups, the ability to help all students are lost, which then continue to widen the gaps of students receiving a valued education.

This is when the involvement of parents become essential to a student’s education process. Teachers can empower parents of different backgrounds to participate and become involved in a student learning process, this also build the connection from school to home. According to Byfield (2019), students’ awareness of their parents as well as themselves improved when teachers commend the skills and knowledge of the parents. According to Rivera (2013), there have been students that were tested and labeled improperly.

With the teachers and parents’ assistance, this can be controlled and students will be placed properly. The understanding of the student’s needs is imperative to their development of basic reading skills. Teachers have also found that multimedia shared stories have also helped diverse students. Technology have been found to assist diverse students in education achievement goals in reading to go along with traditional format of reading (Rivera, 2013).

Despite the schools systems having the understanding of the needs to support a diverse school population, researchers have found that the United States education system have failed to ensure diverse students have attainable academic success, which have been shown in the devastating lower test scores and the increasingly high dropout rates (Heineke, et al., 2019).

Effectively Teaching Literacy Instruction to Diverse Elementary Students

There have been several studies done in determining the best strategy for effectively teaching literacy instruction to diverse elementary school students. (Portes, Gonzalez Canche, Boada, & Whatley, 2018), discussed the best policies and evidence-based practices for developing English Learner Students instructional needs. It was determined that there are five standards to implement through the standards developed by Center Research for Educational Diversity and Excellence (CREDE). The five standards act together as a system to make teacher instruction meaningful and challenges students placed in a small group for discussion.

The CREDE standards believes that building onto students knowledge of their first language and experiences, creates an environment of cultural responsive teaching (Portes, Gonzalez Canche, Boada, & Whatley, 2018). Within the standards (Portes, Gonzalez Canche, Boada, & Whatley, 2018), the teacher lead a small group of students, with a set time, and with a clear goal. However, this form of instruction allows students to speak on their turns, and everyone participates with the teacher sitting back with less to say.

According to Heineke (2019), it is encouraged for teachers to acknowledge language demands of students and scaffold instruction, allowing students to solver problems, carry out task, or achieve goals by gradually shedding of outside help. Scaffolding a lesson is breaking the lesson up into learning chunks providing students with the tools, or structure, with each chunk (Heineke, et al., 2019).

To provide students with the support needed, teachers create lessons that allows the students to preview the text, discuss the vocabulary, and then read and the class can read as they go. With the students that need the additional help, the teacher will follow with differentiation, by providing the student with a different passage, shorten the passage, or altering it altogether to ensure the students overall goals can be met.

Together scaffolding and differentiation share the same goals, for the teacher to create a lesson, they must know and understand the needs of each student and the class as a whole. Although scaffolding is a supportive measure to teaching diverse students, it is a temporary goal to helping students, different from accommodations and modifications. As discussed above, scaffolds should be considerate of students strength and challenges, should be standard based, in align with leaning goals, used to support students, appropriate for task, and respectful to all learners.

Another instruction strategy for diverse students is to include close reading. Close reading uses strategies to help students think clearer about the reading passages. According to (Baker & McEnery, 2017), researchers believed close reading practices has had controversy however, the practices does lay a foundation for young students to develop an ability to become strong foundation in reading.

Revisiting text in close reading allows the student to re-read the passages multiple times, during many lessons. It is described that close reading is students examining every structure of the text, from vocabulary, concepts and key details, arguments and passage meanings (Baker & McEnery, 2017) and encourages the students to read and re-read purposely for a better understanding. According to Baker & McEnery (2017), leading developing readers through a close reading by building foundations for readers involving strategies and processes with students that can improve their critical reading skills.

The use of technology in reading, it can be used to assist with vocabulary, concepts, and additional access to learning new skills. Through visuals the stories are more engaging and motivate students to want to learn; in addition, through technology teachers can also ensure cultural inclusion is addressed, as there are programs geared towards diverse students (Rivera, 2013). PowerPoints, slides are used to customize lessons, along with bold font words, use of animations, pictures, and specific geared videos are known to benefit in diverse learning. Teachers can plan these lessons, by just being creative along with the collaboration with parents and school personnel students can reach goals of reading (Rivera, 2013).


Cite this paper

Teaching Reading Skills in Diverse Class. (2021, Jun 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/teaching-reading-skills-in-diverse-class/

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