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S1/E8: Cultural Responsiveness and ELLs with Sarah Said

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What is cultural responsiveness and how can educators integrate it into their practice? How do we weave cultural responsiveness into lesson planning, grouping, and assessment? What role does professional development have in ensuring educators are equipped with culturally sensitive strategies?

We discuss these questions and more with Sarah Said. Sarah has fifteen years of experience working with English Learners in the Chicagoland area from all parts of the world as a teacher, building administrator, and District Level Director of English Learner/Bilingual programs. Sarah sits on the Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education, where she is about the to complete the first year of her three year term. She is a regular blogger for ELL Confianza and her work has appeared in Educaton Week, English Learner Portal, and Mawi Learning.

I appreciated Sarah’s ability to take a complicated topic and make it approachable by providing listeners with concrete tools and strategies. She talks a lot about the importance of adopting the right mindset to get started with this work. Like many of our guests, she emphasizes the fact that good ELL pedagogy is good pedagogy for all students. Sarah demystifies the idea of cultural responsiveness so educators can begin to break down barriers and promote deeper learning.

Follow Sarah on Twitter to continue learning with her! She also recommends the following resources:

You can listen and subscribe to Highest Aspirations on iTunes here.