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The social, cultural, and language currency

Part I: Based on the two articles (Focus on Adolescent English Language Learners and English
Language Learners: An NCTE Policy Research Brief),respond to the following question:
� How does the information in the articles relate to what you know about the diverse language needs of
the students in your class and/or school?
Part II: Based on the reading from The Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development
Handbookpages 296-303, respond to the following questions:
� How does James Tollefson�s work on language equity apply to your students? Consider the
explanation about how language diversity can be seen as a problem, a right, or a resource.
� How might Michel Foucalt, Pierre Bordieu, and Jim Cummins describe the social, cultural, and
language currency used to empower students in your class or at your school?



The Diverse Language Needs of Students in my School

In accordance to my view on diversity of language needs for several students within my
ELL class, the element of native language remains an aspect that may not be fully ignored in as
much as there is a need to learn English among students in the US. In relating these views to my
knowledge on the essence of diverse language needs among students in my ELL class, it is
significant to ascertain that different students present a broad range of experiences and skills
from different economic and cultural backgrounds (Goughs, 2007). However, the element of
language remains a challenge in delivering and expressing their experiences within the course of
learning. This critically points out to the need for the students in my ELL to learn and embrace
English with the primary aim of enabling them express their interests and display their
knowledge, strengths and unique abilities effectively.

Tollefson’s Work on Language Equity to Students

According to Tollefson, language remains essential in initiating equity among students, a
factor that point out to the need of using language varieties as a medium of instruction in the
process of learning. This clearly relates to the students within my ELL class since the inclusion
of English learning would best serve the students learning needs (Tollefson, 2016). On the other
hand, the aspect of language diversity can be utilized as a resource within the institution since it
meets the social agendas of the students, a factor that clearly determined the manner in which
different students from different language groups enjoy particular social, economic and political
benefits within the society.

The Use of Language Currency to Empower Students

It is essential to establish that a positive self-concept and a positive attitude remain
essential ingredients in achieving the learner’s maximum potential in learning. This is
emphatically displayed in the inclusion of language and culture of the learners within the course
of learning as integral elements in empowering the learners to feel confident in engaging in
learning without the fear of making mistakes (Goughs, 2007). As detailed by these authors, the
social cultural components and language currency can be utilized as a tool in empowering
students since this aids in the elimination of cultural differences that remains crucial to learners.
In other words, language currencies equip the learners to better assimilate into the society since
the element of diversification is embraced even when the learning of other native languages may
not be easy to ignore. This therefore requires the students to buff up their abilities and skills in
language currency.


Goughs, D. (2007). Educational Leadership: Responding to Changing Demographics: Focus on
Adolescent English Language Learners. Ascd.org.
Tollefson, J. (2016). Ideology, Language Variety, and ELT. The University Of Washington
USA, 2.

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