Literacy Night Essay
Collaboration between teachers and parents is challenging in learning environments for linguistically and culturally diverse students. Consequently, parents are not involved in their learning process and school activities. Engaging the parents and family in a child’s school work significantly contributes to good academic performance (Đurišić & Bunijevac, 2017). Thus failure to engage parents of ethnically and culturally diverse learners in their children’s schoolwork results in poor academic performance. To address this issue, a literacy night is scheduled to allow the teachers to interact with the parents of culturally, socioeconomically, and linguistically diverse learners. This paper presents various components of the literacy night, including the schedule of the literacy night; a description of how the literacy night will be communicated to the parents; roles and expectations for each teacher that evening; an overview of school and classroom services promote literacy for all students; literacy strategies to be implemented at home; effective use of digital tools and resources; and additional supports, resources, and amenities.
The Schedule of the Literacy Night
The literacy night will be held at the community’s social hall. This venue has been selected since it is strategically located, and it is accessible by most families with culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Additionally, is a flat tarmac road leading to the hall, making the venue convenient for caregivers and children with disabilities, especially those using walking aids such as wheelchairs and clutches. This event will take place on the second Saturday of September 2022 between 6.00 pm and 11. 00 pm. It has been scheduled on a weekend to allow all parents, including those committed during weekdays to attend the event. During the event, a multilingual person will educate the parents of linguistically and culturally diverse learners on the importance of providing effective literacy support to their children at home to boost their academic success. According to Đurišić and Bunijevac (2017), engaging parents in the school activities of their children is associated with academic success. Parents who are actively involved in their children’s school activities provide the required psychological and material support, leading to good academic results. Thus, parents’ participation in children’s school work will result in better academic performance.
A Description of how the Literacy Night will be communicated to the Parents
Invitations to attend the literacy night will be sent to the families of the linguistically and culturally diverse learners. The prepared invitations will be designed based on the needs of each family to make them understandable to the targeted audience. Therefore, translated invitations will be sent to the families of the diverse learners. The invitation should indicate that their participation is valuable. Additionally, the invitation will include the event’s venue, date, time, and purpose. Indicating the venue will allow family members to plan how they will get to the venue before the meeting. Families with no private means of transport can organize how they use public transportation. However, most families will walk to the meeting since they live around the selected venue (community social hall).
Roles and Expectations for each Teacher that evening
All the teachers will actively participate in the event to enhance its success. The school constitutes of culturally and linguistically diverse learners and teachers. The first role of teachers involves distributing leaflets, indicating the event’s program. Secondly, teachers will actively participate in educating parents and caregivers regarding their roles in their children’s academic life. During the literacy night, parents and caregivers will be subdivided based on their languages. Each teacher will educate parents and caregivers from his or her ethnicity or those speaking a common language. Teachers will emphasize the significance of providing learners with required psychological support while at home to improve their academic performance. For instance, Spanish-speaking teachers will educate Spanish-speaking families on how to participate in their children’s school activities. However, a translator will be engaged if a parent needs to communicate with the child’s teacher who is from a linguistically diverse group. Thirdly, teachers will be expected to socially interact with families and caregivers after the training to build a strong bond, which will enable them to work together toward learners’ academic success. Lastly, a teacher will serve snacks and beverages to the families to make them easy and relaxed throughout the event, enhancing their understanding of the concepts that will be covered. Therefore, teachers will significantly contribute to the event’s success.
An Overview of School and Classroom Services Promote Literacy for all Students
The school and classroom create literacy-rich environments to allow all learners, including students with and without exceptionalities to participate in literacy and language activities in their daily lives. Creating a literacy-rich environment involves selecting different materials that will trigger learners’ thinking, reflection, and memory. The literacy-rich environment enhances the speaking, writing, and reading of all students through various activities, including engaging in a variety of reading and writing activities, exploring books of different genres, drawing a picture, looking at pictures from different sources, and participating in group activities. Thus, creating a literacy-rich environment enhances the literacy level and academic performance of students with and without exceptionalities.
Literacy Strategies to be implemented at Home
Literacy skills to be implemented at home mainly depend on the learner’s grade and education needs. First, families with children in preschool and early elementary years can develop a positive relationship as a literacy strategy. This literacy strategy is effective since children in their early stages of development acquire new knowledge if their learning and development are supported by knowledgeable and experienced adults. This literacy strategy is supported by sociocultural theories, which hold that although children develop language skills individually, it occurs within a cooperative learning environment of family members, peers, and teachers who support, engage and teach them (Erbil, 2020). Secondly, families with students in advanced education levels should create an environment that supports learning. For instance, families can set up a home library and equip it with various learning materials to create a conducive learning environment for their children at home. This strategy is supported by constructivist theories, which state that children acquire skills as they move through various developmental stages and interact with the world (Vanderburg & Trotter, 2021). Thus, interacting with learning materials at home will enhance students’ literacy levels.
Effective Use of Digital Tools and Resources
Families can adopt current and emerging technologies to enhance their children’s academic success. Digital learning tools are highly flexible and support learning more than traditional methods. Thus, families can be involved in supporting their children’s learning activities by providing them with networked systems and various mobile devices such as laptops and tablets, enabling them to access digital learning materials and resources. Additionally, using digital devices enable educators to customize and personalize learning experiences to align with the education needs of individual students. Educators can use digital tools to modify content by lowering or rising text’s complexity level depending on the learner’s capacity for education needs. Furthermore, social media tools enable learners to interact and communicate with others, including mentors, colleagues, and peers, learning more concepts from them.
Additional Supports, Resources, and Amenities
The school administration and the teachers will provide families with culturally and linguistically diverse learners with additional support, resources, and amenities during the literacy night. First, the families will be advised on digital tools, including websites and e-books that are designed to meet the educational needs of diverse learners. Additionally, families with children with special needs will be advised on a set of learning resources and materials, which are effective in meeting the educational needs of their children, including games and materials with pictorial representation of the content. Providing families with this support will enable them to actively participate in meeting the educational needs of their children.
Overall, the literacy night aims at educating families with culturally and linguistically diverse learners about the significance of participating in their children’s learning activities. The literacy night will be held at the community’s social hall. This venue has been selected since it is strategically located and accessible to all families, including those with people with disability. Invitations will be designed based on the needs of each family and sent to the targeted audience informing them about the event and emphasizing the significance of attending. The teacher will educate the families and interact with them during the literature night. Strategies effective in supporting students’ learning activities at home will be supported by various theories.
Đurišić, M., & Bunijevac, M. (2017). Parental involvement as an important factor for successful education. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 7(3), 137-153. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1156936.pdf
Erbil, D. G. (2020). A review of a flipped classroom and cooperative learning method within the context of Vygotsky’s theory. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 1157. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01157.
Vanderburg, R., & Trotter, P. (2021). How constructivist theories of development can be used to re-conceptualize NAPLAN as an opportunity to develop student resilience. Australian Journal of Teacher Education (Online), 46(9), 1-21. DOI10.14221/ajte.2021v46n9.1.