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Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners

Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners
Tools for Equity

Foreword by Ayanna Cooper, Sketchnotes by Kate Monick

Additional resources:

February 2021 | 352 pages | Corwin
What will you do to promote multilingual learners’ equity?  

Our nation’s moment of reckoning with the deficit view of multilingual learners has arrived. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed and exacerbated long-standing inequities that stand in the way of MLs’ access to effective instruction. Recent events have also caused us to reflect on our place as educators within the intersection of race and language. In this innovative book, Sydney Snyder and Diane Staehr Fenner share practical, replicable ways you can draw from students’ strengths and promote multilingual learners' success within and beyond your own classroom walls. 

In this book you’ll find

Practical and printable, research-based tools that guide you on how to implement culturally responsive teaching in your context
Case studies and reflection exercises to help identify implicit bias in your work and mitigate deficit-based thinking
Authentic classroom video clips in each chapter to show you what culturally responsive teaching actually looks like in practice
Hand-drawn sketch note graphics that spotlight key concepts, reinforce central themes, and engage you with eye-catching and memorable illustrations

There is no time like the present for you to reflect on your role in culturally responsive teaching and use new tools to build an even stronger school community that is inclusive of MLs. No matter your role or where you are in your journey, you can confront injustice by taking action steps to develop a climate in which all students’ backgrounds, experiences, and cultures are honored and educators, families, and communities work collaboratively to help MLs thrive. We owe it to our students. 

On-demand book study-Available now!

Authors, Snyder and Staehr Fenner have created an on-demand LMS book study for readers of Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners: Tools for Equity available now from their company SupportEd. The self-paced book study works around your schedule and when you're done, you’ll earn a certificate for 20 hours of PD. SupportEd can also customize the book study for specific district timelines, cohorts and/or needs upon request. Learn more.

Why We Wrote This Book
About the Authors
How to Approach This Book
Chapter Overview


"It is not like me to finish a book in one sitting. I did with this book! I could see these activities in action with my staff. A value to staff and creating a multi-cultural school environment and culture of acceptance.”

Tricia Peña, Ed D., Professor, Northern Arizona University, Department of Educational Leadership, College of Education

Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners is a must read for anyone in the field of education.  The authors have done an outstanding job of helping the reader to recognize cultural bias as well as demonstrating how to overcome this bias so that all students can achieve success, regardless of their background. I highly recommend this book!” 

Melissa Miller, NBCT-EAScience, NGSS Writer, 6th Grade Science Instructor

"Given the growing anti-immigration and Black Lives Matter Movements in the USA, I cannot imagine a better time to seriously consider the role of culture in our classrooms and how culture and teacher beliefs about their students and families ultimately hold the key to success for our multilingual learners. This book goes to the heart of these crucial issues and effectively advocates for assets-based approaches in our schools. This book has something for everyone: teachers, future teachers, and teacher leaders."

Tim Boals, Ph.D., WIDA Founder and Director
WIDA at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research

"For far too long, MLs have felt pressure to assimilate to the dominant culture in the US, and learning English also meant learning how to be a good American. While we have gotten rid of the infamous 'Melting Pot,' this book asks us to go farther in truly realizing the American Dream of equity for all. Written clearly and organized in a logical fashion, this excellent addition to the field takes readers through each important topic asking them to engage in critical thinking and self-reflection. Each chapter includes an excellent review of the relevant literature and theoretical constructs, but more importantly, each chapter also includes thought-provoking questions that help the reader grow and directly apply those theories to helping build more equitable school and classroom communities." 

Dr. N. Eleni Pappamihiel, Professor
University of North Carolina Wilmington

"Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners is a crucial resource for educators who are searching for ways to empower students by honoring, acknowledging, and infusing who they are into our classrooms.  Drawing from their expertise in and experts from the field, this powerful duo has written another completely accessible book filled with authentic examples, sketchnotes, student portraits, and printable tools. High praise to Snyder and Staehr Fenner for bringing this contribution to us all."

Dr. Debbie Zacarian
Zacarian Consulting

"A relevant and research-based interactive text that guides educators through the process of becoming culturally responsive with multilingual learners. Using practical strategies such as case studies, video clips, and sketch notes, educators will be led through exercises inspiring them to become more reflective about their own culturally responsive teaching."

Ivannia Soto, Ph.D.
Director at the Institute for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching

"With an unflinching focus on equity, Snyder and Staehr Fenner offer an asset-focused, forward-looking, and nuanced text in service of multilingual learners, drawing from the most relevant and up-to-date sources. Intended for a broad and inclusive audience, Snyder and Staehr Fenner address the tensions and competing issues within the field, and offer pragmatic, attainable steps forward, with accessible explanations, interactive questions and planning guides, as well as video clips to highlight key constructs. This text is an outstanding resource for all those engaged in the education of multilingual learners."

Dr. Anita Bright, Associate Professor
Portland State University

"And they have done it again…another invaluable resource for all educators. As an ESL teacher, coach, and teacher educator, this is going to be a go-to book for workshops, pre-service educators, and for professional development. This text is mindful and intentional in how it addresses so many aspects of culturally-responsive teaching, and the reflection questions are a beautiful addition for educators to self-examine their own practices. Ta bluh doh mah (thank you very much)."

Dr. Amy Hewett-Olatunde, ESL Teacher, Teacher Educator, Professor
SPPS/Hamline University/The University of St. Thomas

“Sydney Snyder and Diane Staehr Fenner have succeeded in exploring the complex intersectionality of culture, equity and language. The result is this thoughtful, insightful book that gives educators real step-by-step tools and strategies to increase their professional learning and sensitivity.  We are in a volatile time in our history, when the need for cross-cultural understanding and healing could not be greater. Snyder and Staehr Fenner meet educators where they are and guide them expertly and with understanding through the process of becoming self-aware and culturally-responsive.”

Giselle Lundy-Ponce, Manager, Educational Rights and Social Justice Initiatives and Policy
American Federation of Teachers

"This book fills a critical niche. All too often, literature about culturally relevant pedagogy lacks application and leaves multilingual learners out of the discussion. Snyder and Staehr Fenner delivered exactly what the field of TESOL has needed for quite some time. This practical guide to culturally responsive instruction for teachers of multilingual learners will be a must for teachers of MLs to have on their shelves as well as for teacher-educators to include in their methods courses. It is timely, thoughtful, and user-friendly. I look forward to using it in my courses!"

Michelle Benegas, Assistant Professor
Hamline University

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