A Celebration of Language: What It Means for ELLs to Have a Bilingual Identity and How Teachers Can Celebrate Their Bilingualism in the Classroom

Holly Fait, Silverbrook Intermediate School, West Bend, hfait @ wbsd-schools.org

Abstract. Fait reviews research on what it means to have a bilingual identity and how factors such as family, the community, and individual motivation shape how students come to value their bilingualism. She also includes several practical ways to build a positive attitude toward bilingualism into classroom instruction by addressing individual motivation, family, and community values. By involving students, families, and members of the school community, the bilingual students have become excited to share their talents as bilingual learners.

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Jennifer Hewerdine, Professor of English at Arizona Western College and blogger at Writing Kairos, discusses methods of tutoring English language learners in their own language, which may lead to an understanding of how valuing learners’ discourse communities and language experiences can increase student learning or, at the very least, engage learners in the process. [PDF full version: ¿Comprende?]

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