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CEE Position Statement

Supporting Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners in English Education


As public intellectuals and agents of change, we recognize that English teachers and teacher educators are complicit in the reproduction of racial and socioeconomic inequality in schools and society. Through critical, self-reflexive practices embedded in our research and our teaching, we can work against racial, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic inequalities by creating humane classrooms where students and teachers learn to use language and literacy in critical and empowering ways.

Toward these ends, we have assembled a document that states our beliefs and recommendations for action. This document is built upon our values and democratic sensibilities in addition to a generation of literacy research conducted via multiple methods on cultural and linguistic diversity inside and outside of schools.

Structure and Scope of the Document

 We intend this document to provide teachers and teacher educators with a philosophical and practical base for developing literacy classrooms that meet the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse learners. Accordingly, we will first briefly enumerate our eight principles and then follow with a more detailed discussion about and expansion of each principle, particularly in terms of what each means for literacy and literacy education classrooms. This expansion includes an unpacking of the belief followed by a chart of suggestions and resources for K-12 teachers, teacher educators, and researchers. Although not comprehensive—given space and time, we could have easily added more ideas and resources—this document represents what we consider to be a minimum philosophical outline for supporting learners whose cultures and language fall outside the boundaries of mainstream power codes. Additionally, all suggestions made for teachers and teacher educators, with some adapting, can work in nearly any classroom.

Eight Beliefs for Supporting Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners in English Education

We believe that . . .

  1. Teachers and teacher educators must respect all learners and themselves as individuals with culturally defined identities.
  2. Students bring funds of knowledge to their learning communities, and, recognizing this, teachers and teacher educators must incorporate this knowledge and experience into classroom practice.
  3. Socially responsive and responsible teaching and learning requires an anthropologically and ethnographically informed teaching stance; teachers and teacher educators must be introduced to and routinely use the tools of practitioner/teacher research in order to ask difficult questions about their practice.
  4. Students have a right to a variety of educational experiences that help them make informed decisions about their role and participation in language, literacy, and life.
  5. Educators need to model culturally responsive and socially responsible practices for students.
  6. All students need to be taught mainstream power codes/discourses and become critical users of language while also having their home and street codes honored.
  7. Teachers and teacher educators must be willing to cross traditional personal and professional boundaries in pursuit of social justice and equity.
  8. Teaching is a political act, and in our preparation of future teachers and citizens, teachers and teacher educators need to be advocates for and models of social justice and equity.

The Beliefs Expanded

Belief 1: Respect for All Learners

Teachers and teacher educators must respect all learners and themselves as individuals with culturally defined identities.

We recognize the uniqueness of all cultures, languages and communities. As teachers and teacher educators, we understand the increasing cultural and linguistic diversity of our society and that we enter our classrooms with our own social identities and cultural biases. We see all classrooms as multicultural, and we work towards respecting, valuing, and celebrating our own and students’ unique strengths in creating equitable classroom communities.

  • K-12 Activities/Assignments
    • Identify and go beyond various cultural group holidays.
    • Investigate and complicate our commonalities and differences as participants in the local and global communities.
    • Develop an understanding of the history of our diverse cultural practices and rituals.
    • Name, research and share the personal histories of all in the classroom; compile these stories and use as classroom resources.
  • Teacher Education Activities/Assignments
    • Go into and document our own as well as different cultural communities.
    • Conduct a critical historical survey of one or more groups.
    • Interview/research multiple generations (young and old) to gain insights into their dreams and aspirations.
    • Develop locally and historically situated blueprints for the realization of these dreams.
    • Have students investigate their cultural privilege as well as ways they have been marginalized.
  • Researcher Stance and Research Questions
    • What does an investigation of the discourse and interaction patterns in multicultural classrooms reveal?
    • What do successful multicultural classrooms look like?
    • Where are the points of tension in classrooms where educators open themselves to teaching in ways that support the cultural identities of their students? 
  • Relevant References
    • James and Cherry McGee Banks, Handbook on Research on Multicultural Education, Jossey-Bass.
    • Bob Fecho, “Is This English?” Race, Language, and Culture in the Classroom, Teachers College Press.
    • Korina Jocson, “Taking It to the Mic”: Pedagogy of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People and Partnership with an Urban High School, English Education.
    • Gloria Ladson-Billings, The Dreamkeepers, Jossey-Bass.
    • Sonia Nieto, Language, Culture, and Teaching, Lawrence Erlbaum.

Belief 2: Funds of Knowledge

Students bring funds of knowledge to their learning communities, and, recognizing this, teachers and teacher educators must incorporate this knowledge and experience into classroom practice.

Students do not enter school as empty vessels to be filled with knowledge. Rather, they bring with them rich and varied language and cultural experiences. All too often, these experiences remain unrecognized or undervalued as dominant mainstream discourses suppress students’ cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1990). Ethnographic research conducted inside and outside of schools reveals rich language and literacy practices that often go unnoticed in classrooms (Dyson, 2005; Fisher, 2003; Heath, 1983; Mahiri, 2004). When teachers successfully incorporate texts and pedagogical strategies that are culturally and linguistically responsive, they have been able to increase student efficacy, motivation, and academic achievement (Lee, 2001; Ladson-Billings, 1994).

For these reasons, we believe that teachers and teacher educators should actively acknowledge, celebrate, and incorporate these funds of knowledge (Moll, Amanti, Neff, & Gonzalez, 1994) into classroom practice. In addition, teachers need spaces to learn about the communities in which they will teach. This includes opportunities to explore and experience the contexts in which students live and form their cultural identities. Educators also need to learn more about sociolinguistics both in teacher preparation programs and in ongoing professional development. Developing this kind of knowledge may help to avoid linguistic racism or language marginalization (Delpit & Kilgour Dowdy, 2003; Gee, 1996; Gutierrez, Asato, Pachco, Moll, Olsen, Horng, Ruiz, Garcia, & McCarty, 2002; Perry & Delpit, 1998; Smitherman, 1999)

  • K-12 Activities/Assignments
    • Develop units and classroom activities that grow out of and speak to children’s interests and cultural backgrounds.
    • Encourage students to research and document life in their homes and communities.
    • Choose texts that reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the nation.
    • Incorporate popular culture (e.g., music, film, video, gaming, etc) into the classroom curriculum.
  • Teacher Education Activities/Assignments
    • Have course participants conduct community ethnographies as class assignments.
    • Select course readings that promote learning about language, dialect, and power issues in society.
    • Invite course participants to identify their own funds of knowledge and to reflect upon how they can negotiate the curriculum to reflect who they are and what they know.
  • Researcher Stance and Research Questions
    • Ethnographies of literacy in settings outside school.
    • Research in classrooms where cultural and linguistically diverse students are successful.
    • How do teachers and teacher educators successfully integrate the funds of knowledge their students bring to the classroom into their pedagogic stance?
  • Relevant References
    • Lisa Delpit, “The Silenced Dialogue: Power and pedagogy in educating other people’s children,” Harvard Educational Review.
    • Carol Lee, “Is October Brown Chinese? A cultural modeling activity system for underachieving students,” American Educational Research Journal.
    • Luis Moll, et al., “Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and families,” Theory into Practice.
    • Ernest Morrell, Linking Literacy and Popular Culture: Finding connections for lifelong learning, Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.

Belief 3: Inquiring into Practice

Socially responsive and responsible teaching and learning requires an anthropologically and ethnographically informed teaching stance; teachers and teacher educators must be introduced to and routinely use the tools of practitioner/teacher research in order to ask difficult questions about their practice.

To empower students who have been traditionally disenfranchised by public education, teachers and teacher educators must learn about and know their students in more complex ways (e. g., MacGillivray, Rueda, Martinez, 2004; Ladson-Billings, 1994). They must be learners in their own classrooms (Michie, 1999). Using the tools of classroom-based research to develop more complex profiles of their students, teachers and teacher educators can use their growing knowledge of the lives and cultures of these students to design appropriate teaching methodologies and curriculum. Developing these tools would require new ways of collecting and analyzing information about students and their families, and then reflecting upon the appropriateness of their curriculum and practices to be more effective educators. Consequently, such investigation would mean using or creating new lenses to interrogate the impact of one’s own teaching and planning. These lenses might involve designing methods for getting ongoing feedback from students and their families and responding to that feedback. Ultimately such reflective work implies that teachers and teacher educators have a right to choose, create, appraise, and critique their own responsive and responsible teaching and learning curriculum.

  • K-12 Activities/Assignments
    • Attend and participate in community meetings.
    • Document the efforts of a student in your classroom through periodic journals.
    • Form/join a group of colleagues who periodically use inquiry protocols that facilitate looking closely at the work of students.
    • Talk to parents and students to learn about their linguistic and cultural backgrounds and experiences.
    • Invite parents into the classroom to speak to all students on family life and cultural traditions, or to share an area of their expertise.
  • Teacher Education Activities/Assignments
    • Design action research projects that incorporate socially responsive methods and material.
    • Have students write a “border crossing” essay about a time when they were the “other.”
    • Expect students to read and critique multiethnic and multicultural children’s and YA literature (e. g., House on Mango Street; The Color of Water; Miracle’s Boys; Uncle Jed’s Barbershop).
  • Researcher Stance and Research Questions
    • How might teachers and teacher educators design socially responsive and responsible classrooms in an era of high stakes testing?
    • What methods and curriculum materials are used in classrooms that move beyond the status quo? In what ways are they successful? What issues do they bring to the surface?
  • Relevant References
    • JoBeth Allen, Class Actions: Teaching for Social Justice in Elementary and Middle School. Teachers College Press.
    • Linda Christensen, Reading, Writing, and Rising Up. Rethinking Schools.
    • Gregory Michie, Holler If You Hear Me: The Education of a Teacher and His Students. Teachers College Press.
    • Laurie, MacGillivray, Robert Rueda, and Anna Martiza Martinez, “Listening to Inner-City Teachers of English Language Learners. “ In Boyd, Brock, with Rozendal’s Multicultural and Multilingual Literacy and Language: Contexts and Practices. Guilford Press.

Belief 4: Variety of Educational Experience

Students have a right to a wide variety and range of high quality critical educational experiences that help them make informed decisions about their role and participation in language, literacy, and life.

A wide variety and range of high quality critical educational experiences should be centered in learning environments and educational curricula that affirm children’s language and rich cultural identities. At the same time, these experiences should lead students to build a deep awareness and understanding for the many forms of language, literacies and varying lifestyles that exist in their communities and in the world. Curricula experiences should serve to empower students, develop their identities and voice, and encourage student agency to improve their life opportunities. A range and variety of high quality critical literacy practices will create opportunities for high student engagement and capitalize on their multiple learning styles and diverse identities and personalities. When contexts for learning resonate with purposeful and meaningful activities that touch learners’ emotional wellspring, deep learning occurs, making deficit views of teaching and learning unviable and untenable.

  • K-12 Activities/Assignments
    • Examine and critique popular culture as a voice for different cultural groups. Discuss the ways in which language is used to express feelings. Have students write their own songs or poems for posting on a website.
    • Have learners read autobiographies of children their age and then write their own stories. As a group, compare and contrast their stories with the ones they read. Discuss what students have learned about themselves and others?
    • Ask students to examine newspaper articles, television reports, and websites about their cultural group. Do they agree/disagree with the ways the stories have been told? What is another way the stories could have been told? Write the other way.
  • Teacher Education Activities/Assignments
    • Have preservice and inservice teachers create a curriculum that uses a variety of cross-cultural texts from popular culture to teach literacy lessons. How is this curriculum different from and similar to other literacy curricula?
    • Ask preservice and inservice teachers to make a list of the most interesting activities that they did when they were in school. Critique why these activities were memorable and develop a list of criteria for meaning learning experiences. Use this list to critique or develop curricula.
    • Have preservice and inservice teachers document the daily lives of new immigrant parents and create a literacy curriculum that would respond to the needs, interests and learning styles of their children. Describe how the parents would be involved in your curriculum.
  • Researcher Stance and Research Questions
    • Examine teacher and pupils’ attitudes toward popular culture as a context for teaching and learning before and after implementation of a popular culture curriculum.
    • What are the roles of class and cultural histories in influencing literacy educators’ theories and ways of teaching and learning?
    • Using multiple critical literacy lenses, examine the literacy curricula from several schools. Match the findings to current best practices in critical literacy education.
    • What are the effects of social conditions on children’s personalities and learning preferences?
  • Relevant References
    • Linda Darling-Hammond, The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools that Work, Jossey-Bass.
    • Maisha Fisher, “From the coffee house to the school house: The promise and potential of spoken word poetry in school contexts.” English Education.
    • Rebecca Oxford, “Personality type in the foreign or second language classroom: Theoretical and empirical perspectives.” In Horning and Sudol, Understanding Literacy: Personality Preference in Rhetorical and Psycholinguistic Contexts, Hampton.
    • Ira Shor and Caroline Pari, Critical Literacy in Action: Writing Words, Changing Worlds. Boynton/Cook.

Belief 5: Modeling Practice

Educators need to model culturally responsive and socially responsible practices for students.

When English educators model culturally responsive practices they explicitly acknowledge and incorporate students’ funds of knowledge. Modeling effective teaching practices involves building on and consciously referring to the knowledge base of said practices. The process of modeling depends on carefully planned demonstrations, experiences, and activities. As part of this process, educators help students collectively examine experiences in light of their own learning, knowledge, and goals. These discussions may help learners not only develop language for how or if experiences support learning, but also will aid in identifying experiences that help learners examine whose English “counts” and in what contexts.

  • K-12 Activities/Assignments
    • Initiate explicit discussions on reading by disclosing your own reading preferences and processes. The discussion may lead to a subsequent discussion on what texts students have read during their formal school careers. Who wrote these texts? Whose texts aren’t being read? Does this matter? Why is this problematic?
    • Invite students to bring in culturally relevant texts (e.g., songs, self-written poetry) and ask them to create a glossary for difficult (for the teacher) to understand language. After this experience, teacher may initiate discussion on being bi-lingual/cultural. In addition, teachers can also bring in texts relevant to the lives of students.
  • Teacher Education Activities/Assignments
    • Initiate a classroom conversation on a controversial topic with the one caveat being that participants use only one-syllable words. After the discussion, participants discuss how it feels to have lots of ideas and limited language to express them.
    • Publicly write or read in the moment of teaching – reflecting aloud on literacy decisions, questions, and concerns – making the work of learning more transparent. This activity is particularly powerful if the teacher writes via power point or on a transparency, or reads from a text the students can see.
  • Researcher Stance and Research Questions
    • Types of research:Participant-observer; ethnographic; action research; self-study.
    • Sample question: What does modeling in action look like? What sorts of moves do teachers make to initiate it? What sense do students make of these experiences?
  • Relevant References
    • Geneva Gay, Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. Teachers College Press.
    • Carol Lee. “Bridging Home and School Literacies: Models for Culturally Responsive Teaching, A Case for African American English, In Heath and Lapp, A Handbook for Literacy Educators: Research on Teaching the Communicative and Visual Arts, Macmillan.
    • Ruth Schoenbach, Cynthia Greenleaf, Christine Cziko, and Lori Hurwitz, Reading for Understanding, Jossey-Bass.

Belief 6: Critical Users of Language

All students need to be taught mainstream power codes and become critical users of language while also having their home and street codes honored.

English language arts teachers live a contradiction. We find ourselves charged to teach native speakers and second language learners alike. Yet, according to contemporary research, native speakers know all of the rules of their native dialect (typically by the time they enter public schools at the age of five or six), and second language learners need not so much instruction, but immersion. Ultimately we know both groups and, indeed, all language users have a right to be informed about and practiced in the dialect of the dominant culture, also mythologized as “Standard English.” Teachers are responsible for giving all students the tools and resources to access the Language of Wider Communication, both spoken and written. However, it is not enough to just “teach” the mainstream power codes; teachers need to foster ongoing and critical examinations with their students of how particular codes came into power, why linguistic apartheid exists, and how even their own dialectical and slang patterns are often appropriated by the dominant culture. Thus, our dilemma: how do we offer both groups ample opportunities to learn and practice their usage of this “prestige dialect” while at the same time recognizing the communicative equality and linguistic validity of their home dialects and languages? This document seeks to provide an answer, additional resources, and questions in answering that charge.

  • K-12 Activities/Assignments
    • Have students compose across codes.
    • Have students make dialectical translations (e.g., writing a Shakespearean soliloquy in street language or a poem written in a marginalized dialect into a privileged dialect), then discuss what gets gained and lost through such translation.
    • Create dialectical and slang-based lexicons.
    • Have students become ethnographers into language, recording and analyzing the ways language plays out in their lives.
  • Teacher Education Activities/Assignments
    • Conduct student/class interviews around language power issues.
    • Interact with “Do You Speak American (documentary & website).
    • Develop idiolectical autobiographies.
  • Researcher Stance and Research Questions
    • What are the benefits, if any, of raising pre- and inservice teachers’ awareness of the multi-dialectical nature of American society?
    • What happens when pre- or inservice language arts programs for teachers attempt to lead teachers to understand the mythical and socially constructed nature of the socially- favored dialect contemporarily labeled “Standard English?”
  • Relevant References
    • Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill, Language Myths, Penguin.
    • David and Yvonne Freeman, Essential Linguistics, Heinemann.
    • Eva Hoffman, Lost in Translation, Penguin.
    • Richard Rodriguez, Hunger of Memory, Bantam Books.
    • Walt Wolfram and Natalie Schilling-Estes, American English, Blackwell.

Belief 7: Crossing Cultural Boundaries

Teachers and teacher educators must be willing to cross traditional, personal and professional boundaries in pursuit of social justice and equity.

While there are discussions about whether “we” can or cannot teach “others,” the fact remains that English educators do just that every day. There is and will continue to be a disparity between the racial, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds of English educators and their students. Whereas the percentage of white female English educators—estimated at about 85-90 per cent—in U.S. schools has remained constant (Snyder & Hoffman, 2002), the students with whom they work have and will continue to become increasingly diverse. Teacher candidates will need to understand and acknowledge racial and socioeconomic inequities that exist and that schools perpetuate.

As part of their teacher education, they will need to acknowledge the limits of their personal knowledge as well as experience the privileges afforded them by virtue of their race and class. Part of the curriculum for English educators will involve crossing personal boundaries in order to study, embrace and build understanding of “other.” The purpose of boundary crossing is not to simply have an experience with the “other,” but to use that experience to advocate for the advancement for all. While the stereotypical demographic teacher population of the white, middle-class, female will often have to cross more distinct boundaries, other preservice teachers who are more linguistically, culturally, racially, and socioeconomically aligned with the growing diverse student population will have to engage in “making the strange familiar, and making the familiar strange.”

Ultimately, teacher candidates will need to engage in projects that allow them to study their lives as a way to recognize their limits and to complement the work they will do in crossing personal boundaries. This may involve learning language, studying culture, and visiting with students and their families. In short, we can’t do what we’ve always done because we don’t have the same students we had before (Kansas National Education Association, 2003).

  • K-12 Activities/Assignments
    • Develop sustained contact with participants from diverse communities.
    • Develop projects on different cultural practices.
    • Accomplish the projects above via audio and video tape interviewing; transcribing, studying, and compiling the stories of people from different cultures/places; collecting oral histories; all to be used as classroom resources.
    • Use documentary films from PBS, etc., as a resource, designing carefully-phrased pre-post viewing questions and activities.
  • Teacher Education Activities/Assignments
    • Go into a different cultural community and interview people different than you. Compare and contrast their lives with your own. It’s useful to have a specific class focus for the interviews and to brainstorm with students to arrive at the focus.
    • Write about a “border crossing” and study the contrasts between prior/known experience and others’ experience.
    • Replicate the experience of non-English-literate families by having class participants read labels from common supermarket items with words blacked out, compelling them to “buy” supplies for their families without the ability to read words.
  • Researcher Stance and Research Questions
    • Types of research:Participant-observer; ethnographic; action research; self-study.
    • Sample question: What is the nature of the lived experiences of new immigrants in public schools?
  • Relevant References
    • Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, Owl Books.
    • Victoria Purcell-Gates, Other People’s Words, Harvard University Press.
    • Shirley Brice Heath, Ways with Words, Cambridge University Press.
    • Deborah Hicks, Reading Lives: Working-Class Children and Literacy Learning, Teachers College Press.
    • Mike Rose, Lives on the Boundary, Penguin.
    • Victor Villanueva, Jr. Bootstraps: From an American Academic of Color, NCTE.

Belief 8: Teaching as a Political Act

Teaching is a political act, and in our preparation of future teachers and citizens, teachers and teacher educators need to be advocates for and models of social justice and equity.

We recognize that teachers and teacher educators have the potential to function as change agents in their classrooms, schools, and communities. Social justice-oriented teachers and teacher educators play a significant role in seeking alternative ways to address various forms of official knowledge with their students, especially forms of official knowledge that marginalize certain groups while privileging others. We also believe that effective literacy teachers of diverse students envision their classrooms as sites of struggle and transformative action in the service of academic literacy development and social change.

Towards these ends, we recognize the importance of employing a critical lens when engaging preservice and inservice teachers, a lens that enables these teachers to understand and value a stance toward literacy teaching that also promotes critical consciousness, social justice, and equity. Through praxis, the combination of active reflection and reflective action (Freire, 1970), teachers and teacher educators are able to build and strengthen collective efforts toward individual and social transformation. Our desire is for teachers and teacher educators to continue to expand relevant course materials, activities, methods, and experience in serving diverse students in the 21st century in the pursuit of equity, achievement, and justice.

  • K-12 Activities/Assignments
    • Encourage students to develop critical perspectives through community-based research and action projects.
    • Increase the shared knowledge base with students, parents, and other local actors; regularly tap into students’ funds of knowledge.
    • Use classroom approaches that empower students socially and academically.
    • Negotiate roles and go beyond teacher-as-expert and student-as-novice.
    • Be explicit with students about your own positions as political agents.
  • Teacher Education Activities/Assignments
    • Have preservice and inservice teachers write and revise philosophical statements. It is instructive to do this at 2-3 different points in a year.
    • Utilize critical education texts in teacher credential courses, such as the many we have cited here.
    • Provide preservice teachers with the tools they need to conduct critical, teacher-action research.
    • Promote dialogue in teacher education courses about concepts such as praxis, empowerment, pedagogy, etc, and why they are important. Help learners to see why teaching begins here. Make assignments that help them track their own development.
  • Researcher Stance and Research Questions
    • How do teachers develop and maintain a critical teaching stance?
    • What does a critical education look like? How does it vary and/or remain constant in different contexts?
    • How does one practice critical education in literacy classrooms?
    • How can teacher educators get the most from critical inquiry stances within the limits of 15-week semesters or 10-week terms?
  • Relevant References
    • Michael Apple, Ideology and Curriculum, Routledge.
    • John Dewey, The Child and the Curriculum, University of Chicago Press.
    • Paolo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Continuum.
    • Henry Giroux, Theory and Resistance in Education: A Pedagogy for the Opposition, Bergin & Garvey.
    • Bell Hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope, Routledge.
    • Peter McLaren, Revolutionary Multiculturalism: Pedagogies of Dissent for the New Millennium, Westview Press.

References and Additional Recommendations

Allen, J. (Ed.). (1999). Class actions: Teaching for social justice in elementary and middle school. New York: Teachers College Press.

Allington, R. L & Walmsley, S. A. (Eds.). (1995). No quick fix: Rethinking literacy programs in America’s elementary schools. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Apple, M. (1990). Ideology and curriculum. New York: Routledge.

Bank, J. & Banks, C. (2003). Handbook on research on multicultural education (2nd Ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Bauer, L. & Trudgill, P. (1998). Language myths. New York: Penguin.

Boyd, F., Brock, C. H. with Rozendal, M. S. (Eds.). (2004). Multicultural and multilingual literacy and language: Contexts and practices. New York: Guilford Press.

Bourdieu, P. (1990). The logic of practice. (R. Nice, Trans). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Christensen, L. (2000). Reading, writing, and rising up. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.

Darling-Hammond, L. (1997). The right to learn. A blueprint for creating schools that work. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Daspit, T. & Weaver, J. A. (1999). Popular culture and critical pedagogy. Reading, constructing, connecting. New York, NY: Garland.

Delpit, L. (1988). The silenced dialogue: Power and pedagogy in educating other people’s children. Harvard Educational Review, 58 (3), 280-298.

Delpit, L, & Kilgour Dowdy, J. (Eds.) (2003). The skin that we speak: Thoughts on language and culture in the classroom. New York: The New Press.

Dewey, J. (1932/1990). The child and the curriculum/The school and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Dyson, A. H. (2005). Crafting “The humble prose of living”: Rethinking oral/written relations in the echoes of spoken word. English Education, 37(2), 149-164.

Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America. New York: Metropolitan Books.

Fecho, B. (2004). “Is this English?” Race, language, and culture in the classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.

Fisher, M.T. (2003). Open mics and open minds: Spoken word poetry in African Diaspora Participatory Literacy Communities. Harvard Educational Review, 73 (3), 362-389.

Fisher, M T. (2004). “The song is unfinished”: The new literate and literary. Written Communication, 21(3), 290-312.

Fisher, M.T. (2005). From the coffee house to the schoolhouse: The promise and potential of spoken word poetry in school contexts. English Education, 37 (2), 115-131.

Freeman, D. & Freeman, Y. (2004). Essential linguistics: What you need to know to teach reading, ESL, spelling, phonics, and grammar. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.

Gee, J. P. (1996). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses. London, UK: Routledge-Falmer.

Giroux, H. (2001). Theory and resistance in education: Towards a pedagogy for the opposition (2nd Ed.). Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

Gordon, L. (2000). Existenia Africana: Understanding Africana existential thought. New York: Routledge.

Gutierrez, K., Asato, J., Pacheco, M., Moll, L., Olson, K., Horng, E., Ruiz, R., Garcia, E., & McCarty, T. (2002). “Sounding American”: The consequences of new reforms on English language learners. Reading Research Quarterly, 37 (3), 328-343.

Heath, S. B. (1983). Ways with words: Language, life, and work in communities and classrooms. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Hicks, D. (2002). Reading lives: Working-class children and literacy learning. New York: Teachers College Press.

Hoffman, E. (1990). Lost in translation: A life in a new language. New York: Penguin.

Hooks, B. (2003). Teaching community: A pedagogy of hope. New York: Routledge.

Jocson, K.M. (2005). “Taking it to the mic”: Pedagogy of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People and partnership with an urban high school. English Education, 37(2), 44-60.

Kansas National Education Association (2003). Retrieved September 5, 2005 from

Kozol, J. (1991). Savage inequalities. Children in America’s schools. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Lankshear, C., & McLaren, P.L. (Eds.). (1993). Critical literacy. Politics, praxis, and the postmodern. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Lee, C.D. (1995). A culturally based cognitive apprenticeship: Teaching African American high school students skills in literary interpretation. Reading Research Quarterly, 30(4), 608-631.

Lee, C.D. (2001). Is October Brown Chinese? A cultural modeling activity system for underachieving students. American Educational Research Journal, 38(1), 97-142.

MacGillivray, L., Rueda, R., & Martinez, A.M., Listening to Inner-City Teachers of English Language Learners. In F. Boyd, C. Brock, with M. Rozendal (Eds.). (2004). Multicultural and Multilingual Literacy and Language: Contexts and Practices. (pp. 144-160). New York: Guilford Press.

Many, J. (Ed.) (2001). Handbook of instructional practices for literacy teacher-educators. Examples and reflections from the teaching lives of literacy scholars. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Mahiri, J. (Ed.). (2004). What they don’t learn in schools: Literacy in the lives of urban youth. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

McCarty, T. (2002). A place to be Navajo: Rough Rock and the struggle for self-determination in indigenous schooling. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

McLaren, P. (1997). Revolutionary multiculturalism: Pedagogies of dissent for the new millennium. Boulder, CO: Westview.

Michie, G. (1999). Holler if you hear me: The education of a teacher and his students. New York: Teachers College Press.

Moll, L.C., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory into Practice, 31, 132 - 141.

Moll, L. C. & Gonzalez, N. (1994). “Lessons from research with Language-Minority children.” Journal of Reading Behavior, 26(4), 439-456.

Morrell, E. (2004). Linking literacy and popular culture: Finding connections for lifelong learning. Norwood, Massachusetts: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.

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This document was created in part as a result of the 2005 Conference on English Education Leadership and Policy Summit, Suzanne Miller, CEE Chair, and Dana L. Fox, CEE Leadership and Policy Summit Chair.

Participants and authors in the “Supporting Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners in English Education” thematic strand group of the CEE Summit included:

  • Co-Conveners: Bob Fecho and Fenice Boyd
  • Mary Ariail, Georgia State University
  • Fenice Boyd, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
  • Bob Fecho, University of Georgia
  • Maisha Fisher, Emory University
  • Mary K. Healy, University of California, Office of the President (Retired)
  • Korina Jocson, Stanford University
  • Kezia McNeal, Georgia State University
  • Ernest Morrell, Michigan State University
  • Tom Meyer, State University of New York, New Paltz
  • Jeanne Smith Muzzillo, Bradley University
  • Gertrude Tinker Sachs, Georgia State University
  • Charnita West, Georgia State University
  • Robert Williams, Radford University

If you wish to send a response to this CEE belief statement, please email and specify which statement you are commenting on in the Subject of your email.

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