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Multicultural Literature in Guided Reading with ESL Students

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Kristina Finley

on 14 November 2013

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Transcript of Multicultural Literature in Guided Reading with ESL Students

By Kristina Finley
November 2013

The Use of Multicultural Literature in Guided Reading with ESL Students
Increasing diversity amongst schools today, creates a need for quality literature and instruction in the classroom.

The different languages and cultures represented in classrooms is continuously growing and making the homogenous English speaking classroom a thing of the past.

Children come to school with various schemas and support from home and with “more than 7.5 million school aged children in the US coming from homes where a language other than English is spoken at home” (Hadaway, et al, 2001, p 796).

Homogenous groupings
Should be in the students' zone of proximal development
Continuous evaluation of a students’ progress
Help to provide a purpose for reading
Can teach strategies for reading unknown words, comprehension, decoding, and fluency
15-20 minute lesson that has a daily focus
Involves constant talking and communication
Is flexible enough to be used with any type of reading material
Guided Reading
Multicultural Literature
Often been equated with people of color
African American, Asian American, Native American, & Latinos(Tunnel, et al, 2012, p 194)
Different religious groups
Individuals with intellectual and physical challenges
People of different ages
Without quality multicultural literature in guided reading, students are not able to see their culture reflected in the available literature and may become disinterested in the process of reading. If multicultural literature is not present, it sends an underlying message to minority students that they are not present in the academic world (Colby and Lyons, 2004).

Social cultural theory, how someone learns literacy through their cultural and social atmosphere, plays a role in explaining why multicultural literature is important to use (Perez, 2004).

Multicultural literature provides an opportunity for students to develop multiple perspectives and can help to eliminate cultural ethnocentrism (Lu, 1998).

Not only does multicultural literature help minority students, but it can help
student learn and appreciate a variety cultures.
Student 1 Reading in May
Student 3 Reading in May
“The best reading strategies for working with ELL, English language learners, students include small group instruction, meaningful texts, accessing and building background knowledge, teaching vocabulary in context and guided group discussions.” (Suits, 2003, p 28)

I focused on two best practices, guided reading and multicultural literature.
By providing books on a students' instructional level, the student is able to grow and master each level with the appropriate support and scaffolding provided by the teacher and the other students (Schirmer and Schaffer, 2010).
Another benefit of guided reading comes with the increase in the students writing, speaking, and listening skills because of the social interactions and conversations engaged by the students and the teachers before, during, and after readings (Avalos, et al, 2007)

By using multicultural literature in guided reading groups students are able to:
Increase their social interactions between other students and the teacher, which provides ESL students with a chance to practice their newly acquired language skills (Hadaway, et al, 2001)
Connect to the text being used, because it is relevant to their lives (Perez, 2004)
Construct a meaning and a purpose for reading (Nieto, 2000)
View examples of how they are valued learners, because they can see themselves in the literature being used (Colby and Lyons, 2004)
Conduct literary discussions, because they are invested in the literature and understand the culture behind the content (Moore-Hart, 2004)
Increase their self esteem by being able to provide knowledge about their culture to other students who might not know about different cultures (Nieto, 2000)

Multicultural Literature
children have opportunities to see how others go through experiences similar to theirs
develop strategies to cope with issues in their life
identify themselves with their inherited culture
receive affirmation of themselves and their culture through literature
provide a mirror and a window into a student's culture
Examples of guided reading books in use today.
Teacher Considerations
Unavailability of multiple copies of multicultural literature.

Lack of time to look up the guided reading level

Must develop lesson plans for each book

Teacher must pick out the vocabulary words to use
Avalos, M., Plasencis, A., Chavez, C. (2007). Modified guided reading: Gateway to english as a second language and literacy learning. The Reading Teacher. 61 (4), pp.318-32

Casanave, C. (1988). Comprehension monitoring in ESL reading: A neglected essential. TESOL quarterly. 22 (2), pp.283-302

Colby, S., Lyon, A. (2004). Heightening awareness and the importance of using multicultural literature. Multicultural Education. 11 (3), pp.24-28

Damber, U. (2011). Literature and empowerment: A study of multicultural grade three classes overachieving in reading. US-China Education Review. A (1), pp.88-102

Fountas, I. C., and Pinnell, G. S. (1996). Guided reading: Good first teaching for all children. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hadaway, N, Vardell, S, Young, T. (2001). Scaffolding oral language development through poetry for students learning English. The Reading Teacher. 54 (8), pp.796-806

Iaquinta, A. (2006). Guided reading: A research-based response to the challenges of early reading instruction. Early Childhood Education Journal. 33 (6), pp.413-418

Lu, M. (1998). Multicultural children's literature in the elementary classroom. Eric Digests. pp.1-7

Moore-Hart, P. (2004). Creating learning environments that invite all students to learn through multicultural literature and information technology. Childhood Education. 81 (2), pp.87-94

Nieto, S. (2000). Affirming diversity: The sociopolitical context of multicultural education. New York: Addison Wesley Longman.

Perez, B. (2004). Sociocultural Contexts of Language and Literacy. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Schirmer, B. and Schaffer, L. (2010). Teaching reading to students who are deaf and others who struggle. Teaching Exceptional Children. 42 (5), pp.52-58

Suits, B. (2003). Guided reading and second language learners. Multicultural Educaiton. 11 (2), pp.27-34

Tunnell, M. et. al. (2012) Children’s Literature, Briefly. Boston, MA: Pearson, Education, Inc.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University

Yoon, B., Simpson, A., Haag, C. (2010). Assimilation ideology: Critically examining underlying messages in multicultural literature. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. 54 (2), pp.109-118

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