I was born to a white, English speaking family. My earliest memories are all in English, as are many since then. Growing up, we lived in many different places; often moving around as my father found new work, or relocating alongside my mother’s family. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, I’ve encountered many different languages along the way.
Long has there been need for educational reform, especially in regards to the diagnosis of learning disabilities. The standard form of testing for the discrepancy between ability and achievement leaves children in limbo, waiting for them to experience failure before any sort of testing may begin and squanders away some of the most beneficial years of language acquisition. (Orosco & Klinger, 2010) Two alternate methods have become popular: Universal Design Learning (UDL) and Response to Intervention (RTI).
Both “Breaking Them Up, Taking Them Away” (Toohey, 1998) and “Institutionalized Inclusion” (Han, 2009) discuss the impact of sociocultural learning on non-native language acquisition. Toohey’s article focuses on a Grade 1 classroom in which students are strongly discouraged to engage in collaborative learning resulting in potential alienation and ostracization of English Language Learners (ELL), whereas Han’s article reflects a sociocultural framework found in Churches that promotes successful language acquisition though systematic scaffolding and contingent assistance provided by “old-timers”. (Han, 2009)