Although there is now a good deal of research on whether, when, and how to teach Academic Language (AL), we still have a limited understanding of the various ways and reasons we might teach AL to refugee-background students enrolled in U.S. schools–and how to do so without devaluing their existing repertoires, resources, and lived experiences. A more nuanced view of who refugee-background learners are, their existing linguistic resources, and their uniquely challenging life experiences will help teachers recognize possible ways to leverage resources such as multilingualism, familiarity with multimodal practices, digital literacies, or life experience. This article identifies and illustrates a handful of principles, approaches, and strategies that teachers invested in teaching AL (spoken and written) to refugee-background students in K-12 settings might find useful. Teachers who tailor their instruction to the unique situations of refugee-background learners from a wide range of educational, cultural, and national backgrounds are well-positioned to promote equity and inclusion in their classrooms.
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