Culturally Relevant Holiday Activities for Hispanics

The United States is rich in many cultural and religious traditions and celebrations.  Many of those cultural and religious holidays stem from Hispanic countries. Hispanics are known for their cultural and religious devotion, and the grand way in which they celebrate their holidays – both religious and secular.  Some of the most well-known Hispanic celebrations and holidays include Cinco de … Read More

Using Pictures for Teaching Vocabulary with Young Students

Teaching vocabulary can oftentimes be difficult, especially when working with English Language Learners (ELLs).  Instead of having young students tirelessly write and rewrite sentences to learn vocabulary, you can use pictures to teach them vocabulary.  Being able to describe pictures and inferring meaning from them, young children are not only able to increase their vocabulary, but they also build comprehension, … Read More

Two-Way Immersion Programs – An Overview

Two-way immersion programs are also known as dual language programs.  These educational programs use two languages for the instruction of content and literacy.  The most predominant two-way immersion programs in the United States combine English and Spanish.  Two-way immersion programs help English Language Learners (ELLs) foster strong literacy and English language skills over an extended period of time.  Likewise, they … Read More

What is Language Proficiency?

Language proficiency is the ability to use a language in real world situations during spontaneous interactions or in a non-rehearsed context in a way that is appropriate and acceptable for native speakers of the language.  In order for someone to demonstrate language proficiency, the user must be able to speak the language regardless of where, when, or how the language … Read More

Title III and Culturally Relevant Family Engagement

Title III of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was put in place to ensure that English Language Learners (ELLs) can attain proficiency in English and achieve academic achievement via family engagement.  Title III was also enforced to help teachers, administrators, and other school leaders develop and enhance their ability to provide instructional programs that are effective and beneficial for … Read More

What is Leveled Reading?

Leveled reading is a strategy for teaching literacy skills.  With this strategy, children are assigned books that best match their reading level.  As the student’s reading skills become stronger they are assigned more complex books. Leveled reading is comprised of several components; read on to learn more about what comprises leveled reading. Theme Books for beginners focus on topics that … Read More

Research-based Early Literacy Activities with Preschoolers

Early childhood literacy is currently at the forefront of the public policy debate.  The significance of literacy and language has long been recognized as a way of preparing children to succeed in school and in life.  Early literacy among preschoolers is important in enabling early learning experiences that are linked with academic achievement, higher graduation rates, and a successful adult … Read More

What is Total Physical Response?

Total Physical Response (TPR) is a method used to teach vocabulary or language concepts by utilizing physical movement in reaction to verbal input.  TPR is intended to mimic the way in which infants learn their first language. This process helps to reduce student’s inhibitions and lowers their stress.  TPR creates a link in the brain between speech and action to … Read More

Books and Storytelling: Talking Family Literacy

Family literacy involves literacy activities, which provide literacy skill-building opportunities for young children, while enhancing literacy skill development of all members in the family.  The primary activity associated with literacy is reading; however, there are many other ways that families can carry out literacy activities at home, such as poetry, songs, and using picture books.  However, one of the most … Read More

5 Best Culturally Relevant Books for Hispanic Kids and Parents

Reading is crucial for all kids, in order to improve their reading comprehension, literacy, and language skills.  Research demonstrates that kids are more engaged when they read books that they can relate to, especially if the books connect to their heritage or cultural background.  It is important to note that not all books about Spanish-speaking individuals are relevant to all … Read More