5 Tips to Empower Female Dual Language Students to Speak Up in Class

Research shows that men often feel more confident speaking up in class than their female peers. This is evidenced in vocabulary many female students choose to use, by inserting words such as “like”, and “you know?” In between and at the ends of sentences. This is due to an inherent insecurity women often feel to speak up for themselves. In honor of Women’s History Month, we are offering advice to empower your female students to speak up in class. We are living in the 21st century where we must expect gender equality. There has been definite improvement, but there are still many areas that society can improve on. Such as, empowering our female students to be confident in the classroom by offering them support and confidence. These tips will allow you to show your female students their potential in the classroom. The role of a bilingual teacher in their students’ lives cannot be underestimated. A dual immersion teacher can contribute immensely to the lifetime success of their students. The Following are five tips that a Dual Language teacher can utilize to help their female students be confident both inside and out of the classroom.

1. Inspire them with your actions

Young students learn more from your actions and behavior than words. If you are confident among your dual language students, they will learn to be confident and it will reflect from your personality. This will allow your students to feel motivated and want to strive to be as successful as you are by your good example. Utilize your biliteracy to show your female students the impact being biliterate and dual language education has had on your life. Communicate this with confidence, and allow them to see this confidence as a positive. They will follow you as their role model and act on your suggestions.

Photo: 5 Tips to Empower Female Dual Language Students to Speak Up in Class

2. Boost self-confidence

Self-confidence is important for any success. A dual language teacher should try to develop the self-confidence of their students through different means. There is no doubt that dual immersion education will promote self-esteem. At the same time, the teacher needs to praise their female students for their achievements. Research shows, male students often have more of a confidence in their actions, while women feel a tendency to doubt themselves, no matter the lack of evidence of their need for doubt. Combat this doubt by offering them the confidence they need. Remember, they may not be getting this same type of attention and confidence at home, especially for ELLs, whose parents may be learning English themselves.

Photo: 5 Tips to Empower Female Dual Language Students to Speak Up in Class

Continue reading to find more tips to empower your female students…

3. Introduce female role models

The world is full of the female role models. Young students get inspired and idealize popular figures easily. When making decisions on decorating your Dual Language classroom, keep this in mind. Choose to have posters of female scientists, astronauts, writers, and poets. Show them that these role models are “Cool” and develop their attitude to what’s inspiring in a person. When dual language teachers introduce positive characters into the lives of these students, this will motivate the female students to follow their steps.

Photo: 5 Tips to Empower Female Dual Language Students to Speak Up in Class

4. Choose Activities that are Gender-Neutral

Rather than allowing your female students to only partake in activities that are stereotypically feminine, allow your students to participate and have fun in all activities. Therefore, encourage your male students to participate in activities that are traditionally domestic (cooking, sewing, theater) and encourage the female students to get involved with sports, science, business, and mathematics. Allow them to choose activities that they want to do. This means, do not allow them to participate in certain activities because it’s expected of them. Allow them to break stereotypes and encourage habits that will allow them to achieve in the long-run. Make sure biliteracy is at the central focus of these activities to allow them to see the long-term benefits.

5. Involve the parents

Parent’s involvement is an integral requirement if you want to empower your dual language female students. A bilingual teacher cannot achieve the desired success without the participation of the parents. Make time to get to know the parents, and see how you can work together to develop the confidence of their daughters. Ask if they believe their daughter has a strong sense of self-esteem, and what they believe you can do to help foster that.

Photo: 5 Tips to Empower Female Dual Language Students to Speak Up in Class

In allowing our world to become a more equal, bilingual, and peaceful place, empowering our future generations is one of the most important steps. By following these steps to build the confidence of your female students, you are helping to create a more multilingual, empowered and equal world for our children. #DualLanguageRocks

Patricia Griselda Pérez
Author: Patricia Griselda Pérez

Dr. Patricia Pérez holds an A.A. from Ohlone College: B.A. and M.S. degree from California State University, East Bay and an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco. She serves as an educator, consultant and teacher coach, which provides professional development, curriculum development and multicultural awareness services to local and international educational institutions and corporations. Dr. Pérez is fluent in Spanish and began her career as an elementary school teacher in a bilingual classroom. In the past two decades, she has developed a wide range of experience working at every level of public education, providing support to educators and directly to students. Her interest focus on promoting educational excellence through equity in order to overcome institutional barriers that confront underserved students of diverse backgrounds. Dr. Pérez is also an accomplished writer and has published in the areas of multicultural education and organizational management and leadership. She is a contributing author to Multicultural Education in Practice: Transforming One Community at a Time and Collaboration and Peak Performance: A Multidisciplinary Perspective for Emerging Leaders.

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