Top 10 Ways to Introduce Culture


topic-image_culture.jpgGreat site to get the conversations rolling when wanting to form a culturally responsive classroom!

Teaching & Learning

Sometimes I think, “Where do I even start?” when introducing a culture I may no nothing about. The awesome thing about this is that it becomes a learning opportunity for me, the teacher! The website shares some simply ideas of topics or cultural concepts to bring up and discuss. It is a great opportunity to have the culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) student share his or her experiences, background, culture, and interests. This is a way for them to communicate with peers, open up questions, and for us to celebrate a culture we are unfamiliar with.

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Vocabulary for ELLs

  This site provides information on the importance of providing vocabulary in a culturally responsive way for ELL students. Informative video by Dr. Flores!

Summer Literacy Resources

It is so easy for students to fall back in their academics over the summer. Check out this article to find different methods for helping ELL students to keep up with their studies over the summer in fun, interactive ways.

ESL Highlights

summer reading

Language Magazine explores different methods and resources for helping ELL students to keep up with their studies over the summer in fun ways.

Find out more at

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Vocabulary Instruction & Academic Language

Apple Vocab

This is from Mrs. Tolson’s Blog and is a resource that discusses the 3 tiers of vocabulary instruction teachers should consider when teaching ELL students academic language.

Mrs. Tolson's ESL Blog

Oral language is one of the strongest predictors of reading success. In order for children to decode words and comprehend what they mean, they must first have the words in their mental lexicon. This is often frustrating for teachers because students who are English language learners or students who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds start school significantly behind their same-age peers in the number of vocabulary words they know and can use in their expressive language. There are three tiers of vocabulary that teachers should consider when planning vocabulary instruction:

  1. Tier 1 words– basic, everyday words that usually do not require instruction; ELL students will require instruction in Tier I words. (i.e. talk, chair, happy)
  2. Tier II words – More sophisticated words that are high-frequency and occur across subjects and in various contexts (compare, elegant, purpose, summary, educated)
  3. Tier III words – words that are often only found in…

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Perceptions of Time: Differences Across Cultures

Mrs. Tolson's ESL Blog

white rabbit

One of the biggest differences between the United States and other cultures around the world are perceptions of time. Every culture has a different understanding and value of time. To Americans, “time is money” and we have to “save time” and “not waste time.” We constantly multitask and do everything automatic, instant and drive-thru. Most (not all) other cultures are much more relaxed about their idea of time than we are. This is important to understand, especially when meeting people from other countries and cultures in order to avoid misunderstandings and to better understand how they approach time-related tasks. To help educators become more informed about this topic, I’ve compiled some interesting articles and a short video to contrast how people from different cultural backgrounds perceive time.

Check out these articles:

On Cultural Time – Intercultural Communication

NOBA Time and Culture

How Different Cultures Understand Time

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Culturally Responsive Classroom

This resources discusses the importance of building relationships when striving to create a culturally responsive classroom. "Cultural competence is the ability to successfully communicate and empathize with people from diverse cultures and incomes, skills needed to close the achievement gap, according to the National Education Association. Teachers, in particular, need to engage in on-going examinations... Continue Reading →

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