Globalization, Language, and Literacy

Curriculum Unit in KWL






K = What you know

W = What you want to know

L = What you’ve learned

What do you know?

What do you want to know?

What did you learn?

Lesson 1: Defining Concepts
Knowledge:  students typically already know lay (folk)  definitions of concepts such as  race, ethnicity, diversity and culture, and cultural competence.

Learners believe they are culturally competent because they are sensitive to different practices of different people.

Lesson 1:
Engagement: engage in exercises facilitated by the teacher to identify the gaps between what they think they know, and the definitions of the concepts given the current global context in which we all live.

Lesson 1:
Learned: how to explain the concepts taking into consideration structures (economics, politics, culture). The real meaning of cultural competence and identify ways to live into this definition through their interactions with others.

Lesson 2: Conceptual Frameworks
Knowledge: students already have some assumptions about the way the world works.

For those students/learners who are speech-language pathologists, they also understand language learning theories.  

Lesson 2
Engagement: goal is to expand their theoretical frameworks to include social theories (i.e. Positivism, Structuralism and Functionalism, Interpretivism (i.e., hermeneutics, phenomenology, symbolic interaction, ethnomethodology), and critical theories such as Marxism and Critical Social Theory).

Lesson 2
Learned: How to construct an explanation of a problem more holistically utilizing theoretical frameworks.

Lesson 3: Explaining the Context
Knowledge:  students in the US typically are focused only on the US as a context for assuming how “the world” works, and with regard to cultural competence, focus primarily on the relationship between African Americans, Whites, and Latinos, in the context of schooling and family.

Lesson 3
Engagement: they will learn that globalization (from above and below) is the current context; begin to develop questions exploring the consequences of globalization on their areas of interest, e.g., language and literacy in West Africa and in the US Midwest. They will view various films that address the consequences of globalization in different parts of the world and begin to make connections between their own lives in North America and those of others in the global south.  

Lesson 3
Learned: the definition and importance of globalization, its differential consequences for the global north and south, and how those consequences affect their areas of interest (e.g., language, literacy, communication, education, health outcomes). consequences

Lesson 4: Culture and Language Policy
Knowledge: Students typically have “unofficial” language policies guided by their own linguistic culture (believes, values, assumptions about language formality, appropriateness, and use).

students have some knowledge of what they would like to see different with regard to language policy in schools.

Lesson 4
Engagement: learn how culture (as defined in Lesson 1) is represented through language and artifacts (objects);  name/identify overt and covert language policies and the underlying assumptions of these policies, as well as the consequences that these policies have on the speakers of diverse languages.  

Lesson 4
Learned: about language policies and their effects; learned how to revise these policies to be more equitable and culturally competent; begin to discuss ways to advocate for and enact more human language policies in their practicum and/or school settings. Will incorporate previous lessons about cultural competence, social theory.

Lesson 5: The Importance of Role of Literacy
Knowledge: students have some knowledge of literacy (typical definitions of reading and writing)

Lesson 5
Engagement: will learn definitions of literacy that are guided by Critical Social Theory. Will  utilize curriculum box artifacts to identify and explain various ways that literacy plays out in the lives and work of people in Senegal; research to explain ways that these objects and practices have meaning in the lives of Senegalese in comparison with  literacy practices, objects and conceptualizations in North America.

Lesson 5
Learned: to develop language and literacy mini lessons that (1) incorporate culturally competent practices and uses of materials, (2) exemplifies equitable language policies and literacy practices that found in the US Midwest and in Senegal, while (3) utilizing artifacts both from the US Midwest and Senegal.