Mainstream teachers for successful multilingual classrooms: The case of a school that embraced a genre-based pedagogy to teach writing

María Estela Brisk, Yalda M. Kaveh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Mainstream classrooms in the United States are increasingly linguistically diverse. Bi/multilingual students in these classrooms vary greatly in their proficiencies in different languages. Students need content and language-rich education in order to learn and develop in an academic environment. However, access to curriculum will elude emergent bilinguals, or students still in the process of developing English, when they cannot fully participate in the classroom context. Teachers can avoid marginalizing emergent bilinguals in English-medium classrooms by emboldening contextual conditions that promote equity. This is realized through three principles: affirmation of identities, additive bi/multilingualism, and structuring for integration. This chapter reports on classroom participation of emergent bilingual students in a school that developed a writing curriculum informed by systemic functional linguistics (SFL). Particularly, it focuses on six mainstream teachers in grades 3–5 whose classes enrolled emergent bilinguals from beginning to advanced levels of English proficiency. Description of the content, pedagogy, and nature of student participation illustrates how these teachers informed by a language theory developed content and instructional strategies that addressed their emergent bilingual needs and positioned them as full members of the classroom community. The large bilingual population and strong leadership supported the classrooms’ culture and practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTeaching Content and Language in the Multilingual Classroom
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Research on Policy, Perspectives, Preparation and Practice
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780429860737
ISBN (Print)9781138849310
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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