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Literacy Voices

Welcome to Literacy Voices, where our experts share instructional strategies with teachers. You'll find practical classroom tips from real educators, personal stories and innovative approaches to improving your teaching practice, and tools you can use immediately.

  1. Emergent Bilingual - The Transition from Defining Students as English Language Learners to Emergent Bilingual

    Emergent Bilingual - A More Positive Approach to Bilingualism 

    In this video, Vivian Pratts explains how the dual-language field is slowly moving toward the phrase Emergent Bilingual, in an attempt to move away from defining students as English Language Learners. A more positive approach to embrace the idea that bilingualism is dynamic, ongoing, and continues to develop throughout a person’s lifetime has become apparent. 

    Pratts provides examples of young bilingual children and discussed what program may best serve them. To serve students in an English context, the teacher must view students as Emergent Bilinguals and not monolinguals.

    Click the link below to learn more about Bilingualism in the follow-up video with Vivian Pratts.  

    Bilingualism - Balanced View of Bilinguals and Bilingualism

  2. Bilingualism - Balanced View of Bilinguals and Bilingualism 

    In this video, Vivian Pratts talks about bilinguals, bilingualism, biliteracy, and translanguaging. With changes in the use of bilinguals and bilingualism, educators now understand them in terms of being an emergent and experienced bilingual, where experienced bilinguals are more skilled and have their two languages more fully developed than the emergent bilingual

    The 20th-Century View of Bilingualism 

    The 20th-century view was to produce two perfect monolinguals that could function as balanced bilinguals, equally proficient in two separate languages. Pratts explains that educators worked under the balanced view of bilingualism, leading to the idea that students can be equally proficient in both languages.

    However, more educators are developing a more holistic approach. She emphasizes that the work of Dr. Garcia and so many others view bilingualism as dynamic, where languages continue to evolve. An integrated whole cannot easily be decomposed into two separate parts because of unique and specific linguistic configurations. This view goes one step further; one language system with continuous features that are socially constructed as English and then Spanish.

    Click the link below for the follow-up video where Vivian Pratts discusses translanguaging.

    Translanguaging - Emergent Bilinguals: Simultaneous vs. Sequential

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