Key Facets of a Platform for Best Practices with CLD Students / by Tyler Wood

Upon self-assessing, I would say there are a few things I could do to improve my classroom. There are four key facets: 1) Language development and learning dynamics; 2) Sociopolitical and sociocultural realities; 3) Planning, implementations, and managing instruction; and 4) Professionalism, reflection, and evaluation of practice.  

Facet 1: "effective teachers of CLD students are adept at using various instructional materials and groupings of students to promote first and second language acquisition as well as content-related conceptual development" (Herrera & Murry, 2011, p 369). Even though I don't have any native English speakers to group my ESL students with, I would like to build more opportunities for them to work in groups, especially groups I choose to get the most out of each student in "environments that foster the construction of meaning from context and from communication" (Herrera & Murry, 2011, p 101). This will bring down the effective filter and allow a good warm up with the lesson or ending quick review, especially since I already use many visuals they can use. 

Facet 2: Since my class is culturally homogenous, my students are only getting my perspective on my culture and I could be more open about cultural exchange. Perhaps I've been in Korea too long and I'm forgetting that we have much to learn from each other, but I think I could definitely offer a more "caring connection between students and teachers" because it "is crucial to both content and language learning" (Herrera & Murry, 2011, p 373). I used to exchange more between cultures, but I have since become more immune to noticing differences, so I should bring back my attempt at engaging them with their cultural viewpoint more often.

Facet 3: I have been steadily working on being better at getting ahead of my planning. I still haven't been consistent with backward mapping, but I have had success in the past with this method. We don't teach to the standards of the Common Core in Korea, per se, but we attempt to match the American curriculum, so by default, we end up adhering to the standards. Since we don't outline our standards, we tend not to start at the end and work backward, but it would be quite helpful to simply adopt the standards and work back from them anyway. It would really benefit our planning by better outlining our learning goals (Herrera & Murry, 2011, p 376).

Facet 4: I have the largest failings in this facet. I have been reading on the topic of CLD students only because of my studying, and plan to continue indefinitely. Since I'm in Korea, I haven't even considered "shaping local, state, or national guidelines, curriculum, or policy regarding CLD students "(Herrera & Murry, 2011, p 381). I have been attempting to implement what I'm learning as best as I can, but it has put up so many nets I'm getting caught in for now, so I'm still untangling the string to find out what works and what doesn't while still being able to teach and keep up with my coworkers who are on the same lesson plan. It has generally benefitted me in the class and in the office, so I look forward to continuing this search for best practices, however.

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