3) What can I do to set up my classroom environment to support the learning of Multilingual Learners?

Environments should support rich language development through hands-on, inquiry-based, content-rich learning. It is important to create a culturally and linguistically responsive learning environment that shows Multilingual Learner (ML) children that their language and cultural backgrounds are valued and helps them feel comfortable.24 ML children should be able to “see” themselves in the classroom. Interventions that integrate ML-specific classroom materials, such as the ones listed below, with dual language-specific instructional strategies, have been shown to be effective in promoting ML children’s learning.25 These materials should not only be present, but also must be actively used in instruction and easily accessible to children. An environment where multilingualism and diverse cultures are valued is important for all children.

Strategies in action

Evidence-Based Strategies and Resources

 

3A) Include labels and other functional print in the home language. Make sure home language print is on an equal footing with English print (for example, make labels the same size in both languages).

 
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3B) Provide books and materials in the home language that depict the cultural and linguistic background of children in a positive light. Make sure children of each language and cultural background can see themselves represented in the classroom.

 
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3C) Display and provide culturally relevant materials, including family pictures and cultural items from children’s homes. Include families in helping to select books, objects, and materials to display in the classrooms.

 
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Great Tips

Strategies are interrelated

Individual strategies across the different instructional topics are interconnected and should be implemented together, in a purposeful and connected manner throughout instruction, and not in isolation. Make sure to also consider your classroom or school’s language model when implementing the strategies and adapt accordingly.


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English Learners - Strategies and Tips - Multilingual Learners Toolkit
 
 

Alignment with Existing California Educator Guidance Documents & Resources

The Multilingual Learning strategies are closely aligned with existing guidance documents and resources for educators in California. Learn how Classroom Environment strategies align with these existing resources, or to see how the standards align across all strategies, visit the alignment reference guide page.

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