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Theoretical Foundations: Social, Cultural, & Linguistic Diversity in School

This course explores how major federal and state laws, language policies, and theories of language development (first and second language acquisition, bilingualism, and translingualism) shape English as a new language (ENL) and bilingual program designs. Candidates will analyze how these programs serve diverse students in PreK-12 urban schools, with a special focus on the education of students who are immigrants, including students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE). Candidates will explore immigration to the United States from a sociocultural perspective, investigate the factors that shape immigrant studentsÂ’ experiences in schools, and how these impact their identity development. Graduate students will reflect on their own beliefs and perceptions about immigrants and emergent bilingual students while identifying the experiences that have contributed to these beliefs and perceptions. They will survey the demographic landscape of a school and evaluate how the school language allocation policy, curricula, and ENL & bilingual programs respond to the legal rights and the linguistic, socio-emotional and academic needs of emergent bilingual students. Based on their comprehensive analysis and principles of social justice, candidates will develop an advocacy plan to address identified needs of emergent bilingual students and their families.