6 Ways for Teachers to Utilize Authentic Biliteracy Development

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Authentic biliteracy development refers to the developing of original material done in two languages that mirror each other in content and that one is not a translation nor interpretation of the other. There are three parts in truly understanding this: language, culture and identity. The goal of this is to help students develop all three parts of this.
In dual language learning, biliteracy is crucial because it leads to understanding the two targeted languages fully. For instance, dual language learners will achieve biliteracy only when they fully understand English and Spanish in both speaking and writing. Teachers should utilize authentic biliteracy to enhance dual language education in the following ways:

1. Learning through Visualization

Students should learn biliteracy through an understanding of culture. You can help them do this by providing visuals and experiences to help them create this understanding. When students visualize language as they learn, they develop a better understanding. A teacher can use interactive whiteboards which can help in displaying audio, photos, videos and clips which can make students get to know how different words are written and their meaning in daily life. Visualization can be applied in local field trips as well as in the classroom.

Image for Article: 7 Ways for Teachers to Utilize Authentic Biliteracy Development

2. Cooperative Learning

It is an effective teaching method that teachers can utilize. It involves encouraging students of different abilities to work together in small groups. Students can be encouraged to verbally express their ideas in a target language such as Spanish while the students will listen and even offer corrections. It is an effective method which can encourage students to have confidence in what they have learned. Allow the students to discuss what authentic biliteracy development means to them so that they can tie their dual language education to a cultural understanding.

3. Create an Open Environment

As a teacher, you need to create an environment which is conducive. Allow students to share their personal experiences with learning language. Allow them to share stories from their home with other students so that their peers can have a full understanding of who they are as human beings. All students have different experiences, let them feel comfortable in the classroom by sharing these.
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Image for Article: 7 Ways for Teachers to Utilize Authentic Biliteracy Development

4. Discuss with Fellow Teachers

Discuss with peers on what authentic biliteracy development needs to them. As a dual language institution, you need to create an environment where authentic biliteracy development is a priority and a common goal in the classroom. Learn from your fellow teachers so that you have an idea of the many different experiences that leads to the development of personal definitions.

5. Inquiry-based Instruction

It involves cases where you encourage students to ask questions. After they learn a new word in the new language, they will have several questions related to the word. As a teacher, you need to encourage them to ask questions so that they can understand the language deeper. If students can be encouraged to investigate their own ideas, they will easily learn the second language. This carries over to personal experience, students should feel confident in asking their teachers questions about their experiences to understand the importance of authentic biliteracy development.

Image for Article: 7 Ways for Teachers to Utilize Authentic Biliteracy Development

6. Apply and Accept Differentiation

There are some students who master ideas fast. You can teach them about sentence construction and they will understand fast. Some slower learners will require you to repeat the concept several times before they can master the art. Allow both sets of students to feel that they are special, and that there is no method of correct learning. By creating this expectation in a learning environment, you will show them that differences in society are to be accepted and natural. This will allow students to have a full understanding of authentic biliteracy development.

What does Authentic Biliteracy Development mean to you? Tell us by using the forum #AuthenticBiliteracyDevelopment

Shelly Spiegel-Coleman
Author: Shelly Spiegel-Coleman

Shelly Spiegel-Coleman is the Executive Director of Californians Together, a coalition of 23 statewide professional, parent and civil rights organizations focused on improving schooling for English learners. She served on Superintendent Tom Torlakson's Transition Team. Shelly was the Senior Project Director for the Multilingual Academic Support unit for the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). She also worked as an English Language Development Consultant, Coordinator for the Bilingual Teacher Training Program and Title VII Developmental Two-Way Immersion Director for LACOE. She served as a member of the English Learner Advisory Committee to the California State Board of Education. She also served as a member of the Public School Accountability Act Advisory Committee, English Language Development Standards Project and the California Curriculum and Supplemental Materials Commission. She was a teacher, principal, and district specialist. Shelly received her Masters in Education with an emphasis in Bilingual Education from Whittier College, credential from UCLA and undergraduate work at California State University at Northridge.

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