Resource Library Resource Library

Culturally Responsive Teaching Culturally Responsive Teaching

What is culturally responsive teaching? Importance to MLs SupportEd’s approach

Culturally responsive teaching is an assets-based approach to teaching MLs that leverages students’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds to support learning. This approach prioritizes learning about and building relationships with MLs, their families, and their communities.  

Culturally responsive teaching is essential for MLs in that it creates space for students’ backgrounds and experiences to be understood and valued. It prioritizes an assets-based view of all students. Culturally responsive teaching also creates opportunities for MLs to share differing ideas and perspectives and learn from one another. These practices result in a safe and supportive learning environment for MLs while at the same time fostering high expectations of all students.  

The SupportEd team frame their work in culturally responsive teaching around five guiding principles grounded by principle one: an assets-based approach to MLs and their families. Instructional practice is focused on supporting and challenging students, putting students at the center of the learning, and leveraging students’ linguistic and culturally backgrounds. Additionally, relationship building with MLs’ families and communities is prioritized. SupportEd provides various solutions and practical tools to help build your understanding and implementation of these five guiding principles of culturally responsive teaching. For a more detailed understanding of the guiding principles of culturally responsive teaching, check out chapter 1 of Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners: Tools for Equity. 

Printables Printables

A Guide for Learning About Your EL Students

Use this tool to help you and your colleagues expand knowledge and leverage valuable information about your EL students. Explore items such as home languages, educational experiences, family backgrounds, and more to better understand each student and support their success within and beyond the classroom.


A Checklist for Culturally Responsive Instruction

This checklist offers classroom and school look-fors in four areas that align to Staehr Fenner & Snyder’s (2017) four guidelines for culturally responsive instruction. We invite you and your colleagues to use this checklist as a collaborative tool to facilitate conversation around culturally responsive instruction in your school and set goals for improvement.


Cultural Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills Self

Tool to help you identify one area of strength and one area where you think you can improve your cultural awareness.


SupportEd Lessons Unit Planning Tool

Use this lesson unit planning template to incorporate your knowledge of MLs in your classroom.


Exploring Inequity in My Context

Explore and identify how inequities impact your own instructional context.


Deficit-Based ML Policies and Solutions

Reflect and identify existing policies that reinforce deficit-based mindsets and brainstorm solutions for cultivating assets-based approaches to supporting your MLs.


Books Books

Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners: Tools for Equity Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners: Tools for Equity

In this innovative book, Sydney Snyder and Diane Staehr Fenner share practical, replicable ways you can draw from students’ strengths and promote multilingual learners’ success within and beyond your own classroom walls.

Courses Courses

Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners

Online Book Study

Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners

Online Course

Culturally Responsive Teaching Strategies and Tools

Online Course

Webinars Webinars

Culturally Responsive Teaching for MLs: Tools for Equity Corwin Webinar Culturally Responsive Teaching for MLs: Tools for Equity Corwin Webinar

Culturally responsive teaching is an essential practice to equitably educate MLs. However, understanding what it looks like when implemented in schools and classrooms can be challenging to pin down. Together, we’ll:
• Discuss the importance of culturally responsive teaching in educating MLs
• Share our five guiding principles for integrating culturally responsive teaching for MLs and their families
• Explore look-fors, tools, and strategies to support the five guiding principles
• Reflect on how the culturally responsive teaching principles can be applied in your context

Podcasts Podcasts

Culturally Responsive Teaching for MLs with Tan Huynh Culturally Responsive Teaching for MLs with Tan Huynh

Sydney Snyder, PhD and Diane Staehr Fenner, PhD, share the five principles of culturally responsive teaching for Multilingual Learners with Tan Huynh. Tan Huynh is a career teacher, consultant, and author specializing in language acquisition and literacy development. Tan has taught students from fifth to tenth grade in public, private, charter, and international schools. He has servedas a language specialist and is currently a secondary social studies teacher.

Articles Articles