Teacher Tip Tuesday: English Learner Series Tip #6

English Learners thrive in classrooms that are asset-based. Asset-based pedagogy views the diversity that students bring to the classroom as strengths and assets, not weaknesses or deficits. English Learners bring cultural and linguistic diversity to your classroom. Creating an environment that celebrates and honors those assets will help your English Learners–and the rest of your class–thrive. Learn how to create that environment in this week’s Teacher Tip Tuesday. 

How to create an asset-based classroom environment for your English Learners to thrive in

Asset-based pedagogy supports literacy development better than practices which view the cultures and languages of diverse students as deficiencies that needed to be overcome.

Let's look at the basic differences between asset-based and deficit-based pedagogies


  • Sees opportunities to grow
  • Asks: What foundation is already there that we can build upon?
  • Champions diversity


  • Sees problems that need to be fixed
  • Asks: What is lacking that must be compensated for?
  • Suppresses diversity

Your students will thrive when they know they are valued for the unique cultural and linguistic assets they bring to your classroom.

Celebrate diversity in your classroom to make students feel like they belong and that they contribute positively to the class. You can do this by incorporating linguistic and cultural diversity into your instruction. It’s important to learn about and honor the holidays of many cultures in a meaningful way, and beyond that, to deepen your understanding of their customs and traditions.

Get to know your students and let their talents shine!

Not signed up? To learn how to provide your class with access to the Footsteps2Brilliance bilingual literacy program, click here, or sign up to speak to a Footsteps2Brilliance expert here.
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