ML10. Culturally Responsive Teaching

Course Progress


This module discusses how to calibrate instructional practices responsive to multilingual learners’ (MLs’) social and cultural norms so that educators can provide instruction that is responsive to MLs’ needs and realities, which will allow for equitable access to learning opportunities (est. completion time: 2.5-3 hours).

  • Culturally Responsive Teaching
    • Pre-Assessment
    • 1. Being a Culturally Responsive Educator
    • 2. Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching Strategies
    • 3. Choosing and Creating Culturally Relevant Materials
    • 4. Culturally Responsive Strategies for Language and Literacy Support
    • 5. Leveraging Funds of Knowledge
    • 6. Summing It Up
    • Post-Assessment
    • Module Evaluation
How to use this Module


Welcome to the Multilingual Learner series! We present 10 modules in this series, all of which are geared towards educators and other interested stakeholders who want to further their knowledge and skills in pursuit of an equitable society where learners’ cultural, linguistic, and ethnic identities are honored and validated.

Multilingual learners (MLs) are by far the fastest-growing student population nationwide. Yet, they are an underserved student group, who deserve equal opportunities and access to resources to achieve academic success. It is our intention, therefore, to provide educators with opportunities to reflect on their teaching practices and explore ways in which they can help MLs see themselves as well as others a valued part of the world. To this end, we will be covering a range of topics in this series to help you (1) understand MLs’ diverse needs and strengths and (2) serve them better in your classrooms, schools, and communities. Thank you for being an advocate for MLs who, thanks to your dedication, will go on to enrich our communities and shape our nation.


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Module Description

The increasing presence of multilingual learners (MLs) in U.S. classrooms, whether as immigrants or U.S. citizens, reveals a crucial need for teachers to employ culturally relevant teaching approaches. This is because MLs who learn in classrooms catered only towards the dominant social group are at a significant disadvantage. The misalignment in cultural understandings, expectations, and home vs. school knowledge often emerges as a source for MLs’ poor academic performance.

This module discusses how teachers can gain insight into MLs’ diverse needs and strengths and use this knowledge to increase the cultural responsiveness of their teaching. Teachers will learn what it means to be a culturally responsive educator for MLs and how those perspectives inform teaching strategies as well as the creation and use of culturally relevant materials. We will explore how culturally responsive pedagogy can be highly supportive of MLs’ language and literacy learning and how to incorporate students’ home and background knowledge to bolster their classroom learning. At the end of this module, teachers will feel more confident in providing more inclusive instructional practices that better serve MLs in classrooms, schools, and communities so that they see themselves as a valued part of the world. 

Learning Objectives

Number 1

Define the characteristics of a culturally responsive educator

Number 2

Apply asset-based pedagogical approaches that harness students’ rich cultural and linguistic knowledge

Number 3

Describe how materials can be chosen or created to enhance MLs’ content and language learning

Number 4

Identify asset-based pedagogical approaches that support MLs’ language and literacy learning

Number 5

Describe culturally relevant/responsive teaching approaches that validate MLs' lived experiences

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Helpful Resources Related to this Module

Module Resources

An outline of the module’s main content and supporting resources.

Welcome & Navigation

Step-by-step guide to assist you in navigating the professional learning modules. 

Ohio Literacy Library

In-depth information about the purpose and key elements of the Ohio Literacy Library.

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