Strategies for Educators of Bilingual Students: A Critical Review of Literature

Chris Sclafani


The education of bilingual students is a rather popular topic among educators in today's schools. Frequently, articles and research focus upon a singular phenomenon or strategy in this field. This literature review is aimed at providing teachers of students of all grade levels and ages with a guide containing prevalent theories and ideas related to providing high quality instruction to students with bilingual backgrounds. Educational practices such as translanguaging and the integration of biliteracy can assist students in using their native tongues along with the dominant language of their given settings. Additionally, the usage of cooperative groups and language buddies not only creates a sense of “fitting in” for new bilinguals, but also recognizes the ideology that young learners will learn the social aspects of a new language prior to learning the more academic and formalized version of speaking. Both new and experienced teachers would benefit from training that relates to these culturally responsive teaching strategies. There are also sections within this piece that promote the usage of community and parent outreach methods that aim to improve the school experience for all involved parties. The overarching goal of this literature review is providing teachers with a variety of literature connected to relevant theory and useful strategies that could potentially assist them in better understanding bilingual students, as well as enhance their overall knowledge base of this subject matter.


Bilingual Education, Biliteracy, Translanguaging, Teaching Strategies, School Community

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