Making Content Classes a Meaningful Multilingual Experience

Whole School

How any lesson can be a meaningful multilingual experience


Multilingual students come to school with many assets, especially the languages they already possess. In this session, Tan will share a framework for meaningfully integrating students’ language to 1) learning content and 2) to express their ideas. Teachers will leave the session with practical strategies that create conditions for students to use their languages to be successful at international schools. 

Now is the time to push past the limits of the long-term English learner (LTEL) label and embrace a new way of honoring secondary multilinguals’ valuable life experiences and academic potential. This session provides a practical, research-based instructional framework specifically designed to leverage the strengths of experienced multilinguals to help them express themselves as mathematicians, scientists, historians, writers, and artists.


We will focus on:

*actions that foster the conditions for experienced multilinguals to reach the highest grade-level content and language proficiency


*Specific strategies with “try it out” prompts to encourage implementation *Templates and anchor charts for structuring lessons


*Vignettes and stories from both the student and teacher perspective  

Session Goals:

The goal of this session is to share how teachers can create the conditions for translanguaging through whole group, small group, and individual instruction. Teachers will be equipped with strategies they can use immediately in the next class to integrate students’ language to successfully engage with the curriculum. This session will help schools become more inclusive places for learners through translanguaging. 

Bio Tan Huynh:

Tan Huynh (@TanKHuynh) is a secondary school teacher specializing in English language acquisition, an author, podcaster, and consultant. His suggestions are rooted in his experience teaching students from 5th to 10th grade in public, private, charter, and international schools. He also taught secondary social studies and spends much of his days co-planning and co-teaching. He is trained in sheltered instruction, culturally-responsive instruction, International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, and the collaborative instructional cycle. Tan shares his application of research-based strategies on his blog, podcast, and online courses with the hopes of celebrating teachers who answer the call to serve multilingual learners. He holds a masters degree in curriculum and instruction specializing in language acquisition. You can learn more about his work by going to TanKHuynh.com.