Asian-Americans often experience a form of racism that goes unnoticed. Although the negative effects of stereotypes are easily assumed, the impact of “positive” stereotypes can also be damaging. The Model Minority Myth (MMM) limits Asian-American youth’s self-perception, many of whom are English Language Learners (ELL), which impacts their negotiation of identity. The small sample of Asian-American ELLs in this study displayed the common struggles of youth developing new identities influenced by their heritage culture, the local predominate community’s culture and the White-power majority’s culture. However, the results revealed a complex interplay of the communities in which they lived. Although seemingly typical, results for instructional practices that transcend learner categories and common educational norms are recommended to a) mitigate unrealistic expectations of Asian-American ELLs and b) to reduce discriminatory behavior that has become institutionalized in multicultural classrooms.
Implementing a qualitative comparative case study, this study explored how three middle level ELLs from different cultural backgrounds participated in literature discussions in a classroom setting, and how they perceived these interactions about reading and text in the process of learning to read. Data set included detailed field notes from the reading sessions in the classrooms, transcripts of interviews with the participants, and various documents including the participants’ portfolios. The results of this study revealed that among the different types of social interactions produced in the classes, small group literature circle discussions without the teacher’s facilitation but with role sheets encouraged these participants to participate most. These social interactions impacted the participants’ self-efficacy to reading and learning in positive ways. They impacted the participants’ experiences with reading, more specifically, their views of reading and self as reader, their views of social interactions, and their reading processes.
This article addresses the teaching of English Language Learners (ELLs) both with and through Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Design (STEM-D). STEM-D not only refers to the content areas, but it also refers to the use of STEM-D related pedagogies, such as inquiry and hands-on based instruction, to build an environment where ELLs and other struggling readers can thrive despite any language difficulties. Traditionally, these content areas rely on vocabulary-intensive instruction, making the acquisition and comprehension of the related core subject concepts extremely difficult for ELLs. This article features a set of teaching cases that explore the role that experiential learning can play in the teaching and learning of the STEM-D areas, and how these experiences can form the kernels of deep content knowledge and understanding for ELL students.