For teachers of secondary English learners, effectively structuring and facilitating discourse in classrooms is a vitally important skill. Secondary English learners’ expertise in academic content – and in language itself – develops through interaction with peers and teachers, and classrooms are key spaces for this development through dialogue.
However, not just any dialogue will do. Secondary English learners are at the receiving end of so many minoritizing, discriminatory, and outright racist messages in society and even in their classrooms: they need teachers who take a critical perspective, one that engages with issues of power and privilege and uses those insights to design meaningful dialogic interactions for students.
This is no easy pedagogical task, however: it requires teachers to be not only deeply knowledge but also responsive, and to be asset-oriented in mindset as well as in action. How can we as an educational community support teachers in developing this expertise?
I’m so pleased to share with you – our Center colleagues and friends – a webinar that will be held next week on this very issue. The American Educational Research Association’s Second Language Research Special Interest Group (SIG), along with the Language and Social Processes SIG, are sponsoring a webinar entitled, “Implications of Critical Dialogic Education: Implications for Teacher Education,” on January 19th from 10:30 –
11:30am PST (1:30-2:30 EST).
This webinar will be facilitated by multiple Center members: me (Amanda Kibler, Co-Principal Investigator), Guadalupe Valdés (Advisory Board Member), and Aída Walqui (Center Director and Principal Investigator). The three of us recently edited a book called, Reconceptualizing Critical Dialogue in American Classrooms (2021), in which we worked with many amazing colleagues to explore how classroom dialogue can be enacted critically and effectively, particularly with linguistically minoritized students.
In this webinar, we have asked several teacher educators who are experts in language and bilingualism to engage in a conversation with each other and with us. We’ll hear their ideas about how teachers can learn to implement classroom discourse practices and curricula that not only disrupt monolithic discourse practices that traditionally silence linguistically minoritized students but also promote students’ critical perspective-taking, civic engagement, and linguistic versatility. These types of goals are central to the work of our National Research & Development Center to Improve Education for Secondary English Learners.
If you’re interested in attending, you’ll need to register using this link by the end of the day on Friday, January 15th. We look forward to hopefully seeing you there!
This post was updated on 1/25/2021 and now includes the video recording of the AREA presentation referenced above.