Teaching Social Studies to Multilingual Learners in Middle School: Connecting Inquiry and Visual Literacy to Promote Progressive Learning explores effective strategies for teaching social studies to multilingual learners. The centerpiece is a visual literacy framework that integrates inquiry, primary source analysis, and visual literacy to provide a progressive learning sequence to meet the varied needs of learners. The visual literacy framework brings together related aspects of progressive, sequential learning into a cohesive, coherent whole. It has an adaptable structure that allows teachers to customize learning activities to meet individual student needs. The progressive learning sequence has varied modes of learning that help teachers move students from basic to proficient to advanced levels of support.
This book is organized into two related parts. The first three chapters provide important content and context on social studies, multilingual learner education, and the visual literacy framework. The remaining chapters discuss U.S. history, world history, geography, and civics/government. Each chapter defines the subject area, briefly traces its development as a middle school subject over time, and offers classroom exercises on using the visual literacy framework in these disciplines. The exercises are plotted so that differing levels of the visual literacy framework are explored throughout the book.
Xiaoning Chen is assistant professor of ESL/bilingual education at National College of Education, National Louis University. She has published articles and book chapters on multimodal analysis of visuals in science textbooks, translation issues in dual language children’s literature, and visual literacy and English language learners. Her research focuses on leveraging visuals and visual literacy to provide equitable access to content for multilingual learners. She has directed the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Regional Grant to enhance multilingual students’ engagement in STEM.
Mark Newman is professor of social science education at National College of Education, National Louis University. He has published books and articles on primary sources, visual culture, geography, and visual literacy. He has directed the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources and National Endowment for the Humanities grants. Newman won the National Louis Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016.
Part I. Foundations
Chapter 1. Exploring Social Studies
Chapter 2. Working with Multilingual Students
Chapter 3. The Visual Literacy Framework
Part II. Application
Chapter 4. Teaching U.S. History
Chapter 5. Teaching World History
Chapter 6. Teaching Geography
Chapter 7. Teaching Civics and Government
About the Authors
This is a very useful text for middle grade social studies educators and their increasingly diverse student populations. Utilizing concepts and research findings about how multilingual students learn, Chen and Newman propose a triad approach to social studies instruction, consisting of inquiry learning, primary source documents, and visual literacy. Well-designed sample lessons combine an understanding of TESOL principles for teaching multilingual students with strategies for improving students' visual literacy and understanding of primary sources…. Chapter reflection questions will assist instructors who employ this text in teacher preparation programs or as a professional development resource. The book also makes a strong case for the centrality of social studies as a school subject that can help develop both content understanding and literacy skills, applicable across the curriculum…. [A] welcome addition to the social studies literature on education. Recommended. Advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals.
Teaching Social Studies to Multilingual Learners in Middle School is packed full of practical ideas for effective and meaningful Social Studies instruction. The authors look at research-based strategies for teaching all aspects of Social Studies, including history, geography, civics, and more, and include case studies to demonstrate their effectiveness. The research-based models discussed in this book, including TESOL and the Visual Literacy Framework, are necessary for all Social Studies teachers to have a strong understanding of how to best meet the needs of their emergent bilingual students. The ideas in this book will benefit all learners, especially emergent bilingual students in the Social Studies classroom. I strongly recommend this work for all Social Studies teachers.
As the authors state in the introduction, at no other time in history have we needed to take a closer look at how we teach history, especially towards our urgent social issues. This book not only has foundational teaching theories and frameworks but also friendly and delightful lesson examples for multilingual, multi-cultural students. As an immersion history teacher, this book helps me understand how the framework and applications connect in real-life situations.