ELL - Culturally Responsive Teaching

This workshop will cover 3 key areas:

1. See your classroom through the eyes of a newcomer student and their families and learn how to create a classroom environment that is welcoming and engaging for them. We will look at ways to inform parents about different aspects of the school to increase comfort levels and nurture a sense of belonging. Find out how you can be supported with home-school communication, how to access professional and culturally appropriate translation, make referrals to SWIS workers, or our new Multicultural Support Workers and how they can support families experiencing language and/or cultural barriers.

2. Recognize the strengths that your students are bringing with them, and use those strengths to build on for their learning experiences in the classroom. We will explore how to provide opportunities for students to learn from each other. By leveraging their own strengths, others can build on the experiences and knowledge they have. Learn background knowledge,  and how to tap into the rich content knowledge your newcomer students already have. 

3. Look at your classroom curriculum and find places that are open to diverse perspectives and experiences. We will explore ways to represent diverse cultures in stories, resources, and apply the content to your students' own experiences.

Target Audience



10:15 AM - 11:45 AM

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  • New Westminster School District #40
    Kathleen Weinkam

    Kathleen is the K-12 ELL program coordinator for the New Westminster school district. She has taught multilingual learners at the elementary, middle and secondary levels for more than 20 years.

    Through teaching in Japan and China as well as working with newcomer students in Canada, she developed a special interest in intercultural communication and culturally responsive teaching. Her workshop has been developed through both practical experience and further education in the UBC Intercultural Communication Program and the Harvard Global Education Program.

  • Lindy Kovacik

    Lindy is the K-12 ELL Coordinator for Sooke School District. It's with great pleasure that she'll be co-presenting with Kathleen, personalizing the info for SD62. Kathleen's presentation draws from the book "Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners", which is the ELL department title selected for this year's Snacks and Chats Book Club.