Enrich International
Perspectives about Language
and Reading Development
Min Wang
Gate Fellow 2011
Transform an Undergraduate
 EDHD 425: Language Development and Reading
 Core course for all educational major students
 My primary undergraduate teaching commitment
 Introduction to the basic concepts and principles
in language and reading in young children
 For example, phonemes, graphemes, morphemes
are fundamental for understanding language and
Differences across Writing Systems
 Writing systems: select units of language system for mapping
(e.g., Perfetti, 1999)
 Alphabetic system selects phonemes
 Syllabary system selects syllables
 Logographic system selects words
The Chinese writing system
 Logographic, or morpho-syllabic nature (DeFrancis, ‘89;
Mattingly, ‘92; Perfetti & Zhang, ‘95)
 Basic unit is the character
 Each character maps onto a monosyllabic morpheme
 Pronounced as a syllable: onset + rime + tone
Chinese: a Logographic
 No grapheme-phoneme correspondence
/k/ /æ/ /t/
• Visual and graphic processing skills are
shown to be crucial in early learning to read
Chinese (e.g., Huang & Hanley, 1994).
A Case Study Project on ESL
 The first hand experience to work with children with
different first language backgrounds
 Indo-European languages: e.g., Spanish, French, German,
 Asian languages: Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai…
What to do?
 Select a second language or bilingual child
 Choose one language or reading aspect (e.g., phonological
awareness, vocabulary knowledge, morphological
awareness, spelling, pragmatic skill, etc.)
 Design a study method (e.g., observation, interview with
parents or teachers, a little test or experiment, etc.)
Focus on
 Comparison of the child’s ability to perceive and produce
the two languages or to read and spell them
 The interaction between the two languages
 Is there any interference from the first to the second
 Or any facilitation
Four Steps
 First step:
 proposal writing and group discussion
 Second step:
 data collection
 Third step:
 power point presentation to the whole class
 Fourth step:
 final paper submission
Transform a Graduate
 EDHD 779Q: Bilingualism and Biliteracy Acquisition
 More international perspectives in reading materials and
course assignments
 Add one week of reading and discussion on bilingual and
biliteracy educational programs across different countries
Thinking globally through
the lens of social studies
and arts education
Re/Considering the visual landscape:
The necessary link between
aesthetic awareness and civic mindedness
Drs. Margaret Walker and Lisa Eaker
“The culture of good place-making, like the
culture of farming, or agriculture, is a body of
knowledge and acquired skills. It is not bred in the
bone, and if it is not transmitted from one
generation to the next, it is lost.”
~Howard Kunstler, The Geography of Nowhere
This course seeks to address and to cultivate:
 Informed public = aesthetically astute public
 relationship between public spaces/gathering places and
the way our societies are developed.
 Social Studies Education + Art Education = aesthetic
understanding of place
“A democracy is more than a form of government; it is
primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint
communicated experience. The extension in space of the
number of individuals who participate in an interest so that
each has to refer his own action to that of others, and to
consider the action of others to give point and direction to his
own, is equivalent to the breaking down of those barriers of
class, race, and national territory which kept men from
perceiving the full import of their activity.”
~John Dewey– Democracy and Education
Ann R. Edwards
Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership
Center for Mathematics Education
GATE Fellow 2011
Goals of GATE
 Increase awareness of and improve understandings of
Asian immigrants’ STEM education experiences through
collaboration, research and teaching.
 Support elementary PSTs’ understanding of cross
cultural and transnational differences in beliefs about
mathematics, mathematics ability, mathematics learning
and mathematics teaching.
Asian American immigrant educational
experience (STEM)
 Asian immigrants’ STEM education experiences are
seriously underexamined in educational research
 Sought to better understand existing literature and
reasons for lack of attention
 Built relationships with faculty here at UMD and at
other institutions who specialize in Asian American
Studies, immigration history, and Asian cultural studies
Asian American immigrant educational
experience (STEM)
 Chairing two AA STEM education related dissertation
 Minjung Ryu: Korean immigrant students’ negotiation
of identity in their school experiences (particularly as
related to science learning).
 Senfeng Liang: Chinese immigrant parental involvement
in their children’s mathematics education
Asian American immigrant educational
experience (STEM)
 Intersection of immigration history, race, class, culture
and language in (Asian) immigrant students’ negotiation
of their identities as students in U.S. schools.
 Implications for designing and promoting equitable
instructional practices (in STEM), educating educational
leadership on Asian American diversity and experience,
and promoting family and community resources for
Cross-cultural understandings of
mathematics learning in elementary TE
 To expose elementary PSTs to understandings of math
and math learning/teaching from other cultural contexts.
 To foster critical examination of the discourses and
beliefs that structure mathematics education in the US,
including their own experiences as math students.
 To broaden their notions of how mathematics could and
ought to be taught.
Cross-cultural understandings of
mathematics learning in elementary TE
 Modules within a strand of math methods focused on social,
cultural and policy contexts shaping elementary mathematics
teaching: Effort and Ability in Mathematics Learning
 Research-based readings about the impact of beliefs about the
importance of effort vs. ability in mathematics learning
 Central theme of readings was differences between Asian
countries (e.g., China and Japan) and the U.S. and implications
for math teaching and learning
 Interview students or teacher; Write an analysis and reflective
response; Share and discuss via online DB
Cross-cultural understandings of
mathematics learning in elementary TE
 Many students wrote that this was the first time they had
thought about cultural differences in thinking about
learning and education
 Many students demonstrated solid understandings about
cultural differences in beliefs about mathematics
 Some demonstrated a convincing grasp of how beliefs
shape teaching, assessment and curriculum.
 Less translation of this knowledge into critical reflection
of their own perspectives and practices.
Cross-cultural understandings of
mathematics learning in elementary TE
 Importance of direct contact with people and situations
from other cultures
 Communication between my students and teachers and
students from other countries (e.g., Fulbright program,
social media)
 Pedagogical cases (written or video-based) of
mathematics teaching from other countries

Thinking globally through the lens of social studies and