Defining High Variety Language & Low Variety Language

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me reference these terms now & again, but what exactly do they mean? Ferguson (1959) coined the term diglossia to describe the context of a bilingual community whose two languages / codes serve different purposes. High, or H, variety came to mean the more formal…

Why We Need Bilingual Programs (& Why We Don’t Have Many Now)

Bilingual education refers to programs that use two or more languages of instruction. In a bilingual program, the content for all classes is taught in both languages, not just explicit language classes. Due to so many districts claiming to support diversity, and due to the need to keep up with globalization and to prepare students…

Do Sociopolitics Affect Sociopragmatics in Education?

Communicative learning is a process through which a second language is acquired. Most researchers and teachers in the field of second language acquisition (SLA) agree that student participation in interactive modules is an effective way to acquire the target language (Swain & Suzuki, 2008). However, much of the research on interactive units of communicative learning…

ESOL/EFL/ESL Activities for Students on the Autism Spectrum

Personal story time! If you just wanna get to the activities (I don’t blame you!) just scroll down. In 2017, I was a speaker at the Kyoto Prefecture Skills Development Conference in Kyoto. I chose to present to Japanese teachers and teachers of mixed nationalities on the topic of teaching EFL to Special Needs Learners….

Including Transgender Visibility in Your ESOL/ESL/EFL Class

Even if only one student in the world identified as transgender, I would want them to have the linguistic tools and safe space to be & express themselves. But, at least 1.4 million adults in America identify as trans (Chappell, 2016)– a statistic that doesn’t include closeted trans* people or minors. And so it is…

Helping Heritage Learners in Class

What is a heritage learner? Ethnolinguistically, a heritage speaker is defined by their cultural and linguistic identity– and it’s an identity that only an individual can claim for themselves. A heritage speaker is a member of a minority culture who may be bilingual or multilingual, who may not be able to speak the heritage language…

Teaching Feminist Vocabulary

A feminist is defined as a person who supports feminism, i.e. the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. During early American large-scale advocacy for gender equality, however, the feminist movement neglected to address or include Black women, Native American women, LGBT women, and women of other marginalized groups….