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Identifying Information

Course Number: EDUC 2400 – 01
Course Name: Foundations for Multicultural & ESL Education
Credit Hours: Lecture & Lab, 3 credit hours
Times: Session 1 - Mon. 10 AM - 12:30 PM

Text: Koppelman, Kent . 2008. “Understanding Human Differences – Multicultural Education for a Diverse America ” Pearson Education, Inc. Boston, MA.
Companion website for text book:


Shirley Sung Davis, Ph.D.

The D.E.S.E.R.T. Model for Elementary Education

Dixie State College of Utah has created a model for the curriculum design, instruction, assessment, and the evaluation of its program. This model, known by the acronym D.E.S.E.R.T., reflects the characteristics that effective teachers possess and continually develop throughout their careers. Each course in the DSC Elementary Education program identifies learning objectives for each letter of the D.E.S.E.R.T. acronym. Each of the acronyms is explained below.

D-Diversity: The diversity strand recognizes that student variability exists in many ways including cultural, ethnic, intellectual, linguistic, racial, and social. When teachers are aware of the issues that surround meeting the educational needs of a diverse student body, their respective classroom practices become more focused and efficacious.
E-Evaluation: The evaluation strand recognizes that quality assessement and evaluation are essential to effective teaching, learning, and curriculum planning. Evalutation measures must be congruent with learning outcomes if both teachers and students are to demonstrate their understanding of what is being taught.
S-Self-Reflection: The self-reflection strand recognizes that effective educators inform their practice through the critical examination of their own philosophy, experiences, and predispositions toward learning. As teachers develop self-reflective skills and patterns, they become more in tune with the needs of their students. Further, reflective teachers make the necessary changes and additions to their repertoire of teaching strategies to develop better programs for the changing conditions within their classrooms.
E-Effectiveness in Teaching. The effectiveness in teaching strand recognizes the complex interplay between the teacher and the learner. Effective teaching is predicated upon an understanding of both the teaching and learning processes. The key components of teaching effectiveness involve an understanding of curricular development, as well as models of instruction. An effective teacher can maintain high expectations for student achievement through the thoughtful implementation of innovative teaching techniques developed through research and experience.
R-Reaching Beyond the Classroom. The "teaching" strand recognizes that quality teachers must envision their educational roles outside the immediate boundaries of classrooms and school buildings. Effective teachers have an appreciation for the context and pruposes of eduction in a complex modern society. They understand that parents, guardians, and the community at large, can play an integral prat in the education of their students.
T-Technology. The technology and classroom management strand recognizes the importances that a well-managed classroom climate influences the education of children. This strand endeavors to give prospective teachers insight into a variety of classroom management strategies to enhance learing in the respective classrooms. This strand also recognizes the importance of the role of technology in the educational environment. Through effective management and curriculum development, and through setting high expectations for all student achievement, high standards are affected.

All of the D.E.S.E.R.T. strands are inter-related and therefore are addressed in each phase of the pre-service program.

Course Purpose and Overview

Welcome to a course that focuses on issues related to the changing demographics of this country and their implications for education. The social patterns within the state of Utah and the nation as a whole are undergoing rapid change. Our country began as a haven for early migrations of people from many lands searching for freedom and opportunity. Today, this country is receiving a new influx of immigrants from all continents of the world, producing greater diversity in our citizenry. The past three decades have also witnessed a new sensitivity and accommodation for minority and special populations of US citizens. Such demographic changes produce new challenges for educating our populace. This course is designed to open up this changing world of diversity for students, providing a foundation of understanding in multiculturalism, ESL/bilingualism and inclusion upon which further preparations in elementary education will be developed.

Course Goals

  • By the end of this course students should be able to:
  • Understand and respect diversity in classrooms and in society as a whole, and use appropriate terminology to describe that diversity.
  • State the Principles of ESL instruction and give specific methods for adapting instruction and classrooms to meet multicultural/ESL needs.
  • Adapt and present lesson material for ESL/LEP students.
  • Understand the barriers to education and employment which arise from intercultural misunderstanding.

Course D.E.S.E.R.T. Learning Objectives

D. Students will discuss DIVERSITY in language, culture, and values as related to the increasing mobility and multiculturalism of American society as a whole and of classrooms in particular.

E. – Students will learn about cultural bias in EVALUATION and learn strategies to make assessments culture-free or culture fair.

S. – Students will engage in SELF-REFLECTION to explore their own attitudes towards various cultures and beliefs with the goal of increased respect for and ability to work with diverse populations.

E. Students will learn EFFECTIVE TEACHING strategies for integrating ESL children into the classroom and for minimizing cultural barriers to education.

R. – Students will learn the importance of REACHING BEYOND THE CLASSROOM to involve parents and ethnic support systems in the acculturation and education of ESL students.

T. – Students will discuss both the value and limitations of TECHNOLOGY in teaching ESL students as well as specific CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT techniques to increase achievement by diverse student populations.


Our work together will focus on insights to be gained in understanding culture and social change, the dynamics and problems of learning in multilingual settings, and the challenges of educating tomorrow’s generation of children. You will be asked to reflect on those insights. Class time will involve (a) lecture, (b) discussions based upon reading assignments, (c) demonstrations and simulations (d) presentations, (e) role-play sessions and assessment activities. You will be expected to read assignments ahead of class to allow for informative discussions. A couple of assignments will involve library work.

Companion Website for the textbook is:

Course D.E.S.E.R.T. Outcomes and Measures

D. – Students will prepare and present a mini-lesson adapted to meet DIVERSITY of student backgrounds, languages and values.

E. – Students will adapt EVALUATION instruments to be culturally fair.

S. – Students will keep a SELF-REFLECTIVE journal, recording at the end of each class period their reaction to the material presented and discussed. This journal will form the foundation for students to evaluate their own growth in understanding other cultures and other values.

E. – Students will practice EFFECTIVENESS IN TEACHING diverse populations during mini lesson presentations in class.

R. – Students will REACH BEYOND THE CLASSROOM by finding and interviewing someone regarding “culture shock” experienced in a setting different from the one that person grew up in.

T. – Students will demonstrate the use of technology AND classroom management techniques for ESL/multicultural students in the preparation of a sample lesson plan and during mini-lesson presentations in class.

General Policies

  1. E-Mail Address/ WebCT Access - This class will utilize WebCT tool provided by DSC Computing. The URL to access WebCT is All students must acquire a DSC e-mail address for this tool. Those who do not possess a computer can use computers in any of the labs on campus. The lab assistant will assist you in acquiring an address to access WebCT. We will correspond regularly by announcements on WebCT discussion board and by e-mail within WebCT. You will also post most of your assignments in the assignment boxes under appropriate headings (folders). The assignment boxes are time sensitive. You may post your assignments when it’s due or before it’s due. Usually the box will block you out if you are one week late. You need to proceed to post your assignment even if you are late, but will not receive full credit. You also need to do your assignments on a word processor first, and then paste it in the appropriate assignment box to receive credit. WebCT times out and will wipe out all of your work so please type it up first before coming to WebCT to post your work. You should check your WebCT frequently for updates that I send/post about the class activities. The minimum requirement is to check your WebCT once a week. You can send me e-mails, asking questions, providing information or making requests through WebCT.
  1. Attendance is required in this course. A doctor's excuse is necessary and will be accepted if it is accompanied by a call on the day involved. Special arrangements will then be made for makeup work. If attending a funeral of a close family member or friend, please call and then submit a copy of the obituary. Athletes playing away from home games must inform the instructor ahead of time that (s)he will be absent. If prior arrangements have not been made, an opportunity for makeup work will be at the discretion of the professor. Where granted in these latter cases, It is important to note that these are the only criteria for an excused absence. A call to me does not mean an absence is excused.

Each class period represents a week’s worth of work. One unexcused absence will not affect the grade. A second unexcused absence will bring a half grade drop in your final grade (after your total grade is computed) as will each subsequent such absence. Each student is expected to sign the roll each day you are here. It will be circulated at the beginning of class. Please do not forget since your grade, in part, depends upon it. Coming to me at the end of the course to justify attendance is not an alternative. Arriving late to class will jeopardize this opportunity and signing will then be at the discretion of the instructor. The saddest activity that I must conduct in this course is to reduce final grades because of lack of attendance. May I sincerely encourage you to work toward success in the course by attending on time and faithfully.

Assignments are due on specific days. Late work may be accepted, for legitimate reasons, if previous provisions have been made with the instructor, but will be assessed a penalty. In addition, practicum hours are integral to this course. Failure to complete the entire practicum experience will result in failure of the class. Dress, grooming and behavior standards are always part of professionalism. Students visiting local schools as part of their DSC coursework must dress in a way that will reflect favorably both on the institution and on themselves. Cell phones must be turned off during class. If you have an emergency, please see me prior to class time. Cheating is considered a serious mistake. The handbook indicates that, “Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated at Dixie State College (see Academic Discipline Policy, 3.34). I will take action to the fullest extent of this policy upon detecting cheating. Please see me ahead of time if you are having problems, but do not take shortcuts. Disruptive behavior at times has become a problem in some courses. I will follow the policy of the college which states.

“Teachers a Dixie Sate College have the right to aggressively manage the classroom environment to ensure a good learning climate. Toward this end, teachers may dismiss and remove disruptive students from individual class activities. If a student’s behavior continues to disrupt class activities, the teacher may dismiss and remove disruptive students for their course.”

Up-to-date grade: I have provided a means whereby you can monitor your progress in the course by completing the following steps.

  • Enter the number of points earned for each completed item on the table provided below.
  • Add up the total number of points earned to date.
  • Add the total number of points that could have been earned for those items (account for multiple items for certain assignments).
  • Divide the larger number into the smaller number.
  • The result will reveal your grade to date as indicated in the Course Grading Scale, above.
  • For your final grade, add all of the points earned, divide by 2.5, subtract 5 points for each absence after the first one (if applicable) and check your grade on the scale.
College Withdraw policy: Students are permitted to withdraw completely from Dixie State College through the twelfth week of the semester ( Nov. 17, 2006). Students will not be officially withdrawn after the twelfth week of the semester. Complete withdrawals must originate in the Registrars Office.   Refunds will be available in accordance with the Student Tuition and Fee Payment Policy 5-17.


Article Responses (AR)


20 points

Reflective Journal (RJ)


50 points

In-Class Sharing


20 points

Integrated lesson


10 points

Multicultural Fair


20 points

Practicum Responses (PR)/ /Service Learning


60 points

Cultural Exchanges/Service Learning


30 points



40 points


Total = 250 points

Details on the Class Assignments

Article Responses (2 @ 10 points each)

Each student is to research two articles on issues or methodology in bilingualism, ESL, including multiculturalism (use these key words). These can be found on the web, popular media or from journals in the library (no newspaper articles please). Each Article Response needs include the following:

  • Citation: include all the information necessary so as to be able to retrieve the article (1 pt)
  • Recap 2 or 3 of the main points about the article, discuss them in your own words, and react to them as though you were a classroom teacher who wants to address the needs of exceptional learners in your class (3 pts)
  • Describe what you can do in your prospective classroom to incorporate any of the ideas found in the article. Be specific about procedures or plans you would implement in your classroom (4 pts)
  • 2-3 pages in length. Please take care of spelling, grammar before turning it in (1 pt)
  • On time: turn in work in a timely manner (1 pt)

Reflective Journal (5 @ 10 points)

A one-page reflective journal is required five times during the course. The due dates are listed on the calendar. RJ #1 focuses on reflective questions listed in the textbook or website. The others are listed on the calendar with focuses on what you have learned from the reading assignments and what you can do with the information to enhance your future classroom.

In-Class Sharing (1 @ 20 points)

All students will sign up for a time during class to share with the class a section or part of a section of each of the textbooks. This sharing may also include new information from an article, and/or personal experience. Then, you will take about 5 minutes each or 15 minutes total to present the information to the class. Presenters will be evaluated on both the information presented during this activity, and on the presentation itself. Each presentation should address at least the following components:

  • Concepts learned (3pts)
  • How to adapt the lesson (or concepts) to include multicultural strategies (4 pts)
  • Strategies, techniques, or other ideas to help English Language Learners (3 pts)
  • What was of most interest to you regarding this topic (5 pts)
  • Presentations are interesting, informative and involved other students (5 pts)

Practicum – (individual) (3 @ 20 points)

One of the most significant ways to understand multiculturalism is to immerse oneself in multicultural situations. Look for those opportunities. DSC has Dixie Forum each Tuesday. There are also many cultural events around town. Helping an ESL teacher in a classroom can be a nice choice. Service Learning opportunities insert individuals into the community, beyond the academic setting. It is encouraged that students are involved in actual operations of some component of the infrastructure of modern United States society. This course has been adjusted to include a lab to help accomplish this end. Follow the rubric below as you keep notes of your experiences:

  • Each practicum should be at least 2-hours in length, or 2 one-hour sessions. (2 pts)
  • The practicum report should be at least 2 pages long to include the event (when, what, where, etc.) (1 pts)
  • Has multicultural aspect, provides opportunities for cultural understanding (Service Learning) (10 pts)
  • Your reflection of the event (5 points)
  • Conclusion (2 pts)

Integrated Lesson Plan (1@ 10 points)

Design a lesson plan to integrate academic language development into content area lessons and to connect lessons to other learning and to students’ lives and cultures. The details of this type of lessons will be discussed in class. A sample lesson is included in this packet. The performance objectives are as follows:

  • Evaluate a sample lesson for methods of integrating instruction (1 pts)
  • Enhance lessons by adding strategies that develop academic language (2 pts)
  • Develop a lesson/unit which integrates language and content (5 pts)
  • Reflect on one’s own priorities for implementation to help English Language Learners achieve academic success (2 pts)

Cultural Exchanges/Interviews (2 @15 points)

Each student will find the opportunity to identify and interview a person who comes from a non-dominate culture. This interview could be conducted with a friend, a parent, a student or an acquaintance. Such an interview will expand each student’s perspective concerning this culture. Ultimately, it will help prospective teachers think through ways to plan to meet the needs of students with diverse cultural backgrounds while they are in a school-based setting. Make this another opportunity for Service Learning. Grades will following the rubric below:

  • >A diverse culture (1 pts)
  • >Interview questions (2 pts)
  • >Process of interview/reflection/Service Learning Opportunities (10 pts)
  • >2-3 pages long in APA style (2 pts)

Multicultural Fair (1 @ 20 points)

Group work presentations will be used In lieu of final exams. Each group of around 2 - 3 students will choose an ethnic group for their work. Each group will utilize individual and combined intellect, imagination, and creativity to locate various resources on your chosen ethnic group. The group presentation should include the following:

  • A lesson plan to accompany each group’s presentation (10 points)
    • Topic
    • Goals and objectives
    • Suggest how various resources about the ethnic group may be legitimately incorporated in the regular curriculum with illustrative examples at various grade levels
    • Visual aids and/or use of technology such as PowerPoint
    • Provide enlightening information concerning history, dominant values and contributions
    • Critique where appropriate various resources
  • About 20-25 minutes will be allowed for each group’s presentation. Please organize your presentation so that this time is utilized most effectively. You should view your presentation as an instructional period for your classmates. (10 points)

Attendance/Participation/Quizes (40 points)

Attendance/Participation – this is listed under “general policies” above. Participation also includes in-class sharing and resource file sharing during class.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource. administrator2. (2007, September 11). Syllabus. Retrieved November 26, 2014, from Dixie State College of Utah Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons License