Thursday, December 22, 2011

Heart House Dallas Tutoring Project Report


Founded in 2000, Heart House Dallas is a free after-school program serving at-risk students of Northeast Dallas.  Since many parents work two jobs, their children had to stay home alone afterschool from 3 to 6 pm.  These students are “at extremely high risk due to gangs, crime, violence, teen pregnancy, predators, drug trafficking, and other dangers that threaten to destroy their lives” (Heart House, 2011).   
As a non-profit organization located at Wildflower Apartments complex, Heart House is currently serving hundreds of students of low income, refugee families from Thailand, Burma, Nepal and other Southeast Asian countries.  To be illegible for the free after school program, students and their family have to be residents in this complex.  The application process is easy: parents only need to fill out an application form.  Bus transportation is provided from the public schools the students attend to the afterschool program.  During the 2.5 hours each day, students receive snacks, helps with homework, and academic support from the program staffs and volunteers.
For the first 3 weeks, I served as a volunteer ESL teacher at Wildflower clubhouse, where the students are in grades K-3. The first day, I was impressed by the new playground outside of the clubhouse, as well as the clean and neat classrooms with lots of books and art supplies.  I was amazed by how much Heart House had done for the children with limited funding from foundations and donations.
My learning group consisted of 6 children aged 7.   They spoke 3 different home languages: Chin, Karen and Nepali. Most of them showed a strong sense of identity, frequently offering to tell us how to say an English word in THEIR languages.  Their oral English skills varied greatly, from almost zero output to near-native proficiency, depending on the time of arrival.  I noticed that the students with low English proficiency were the ones that stayed quiet for the most of time.  Besides language and cultural difficulties, they also need to deal with things happened in their families: Cece’s mother just left home, and Cece had no idea of when she would come back again; Dominic tried hard to draw my attention, by requesting to sit next to me, and expecting to be treated differently from other children, which I believed derived from the lack of attention from his parents/guardians.  Although apparently they are as happy as the children in Highland Park, their refugee experiences, language and cultural background, family structure, and SES will inevitably affect their learning and academic achievements.
 We worked on the poem The Naughty Word by Bill Dodds to go along with the Poetry Karate at Heart House.  Since their English proficiency is at the beginning level, they read with high frequency words, and concrete words represented by pictures (ELPS), I decided to employ pictures, visual supports (highlighters), card games in the vocabulary teaching. We started with highlighting the interesting/difficult words in the poem, and drawing pictures to illustrate these words.  Then we played a flash card game with the high frequency and sight words in the poem and a rhyming game to help them learn the pronunciation of words.
I think pictures, drawings, illustrations, even highlighters and markers worked well with these young children.  They showed great interest in learning vocabulary and found clue of meanings through these forms.  Games are good strategy, as long as the class management is effective. Playing game was a sweaty experience for me, because I (had never taught young children before) had a hard time trying to control their voices and keep the game going smoothly.
I had to adjust the content and language objectives of my instruction, because it would be impossible for most of them to memorize the poem.  I tried to help each of them know how to read the whole poem.  I also learned I should break down the whole poem into several parts and work on one part at a time for these young children.
The students at Pineland location are older than those at Wildflower.  My little group had three girls and one boy aged 12-13.  Their first languages were Chin and Nepali.  They also had some literacy in their first language.  The time of their residence in the U.S. ranged from 3 months to 3 years.  The boy who just arrived 3 months ago could understand and speak very limited English, but luckily, he sought help from Sui, a girl speaking the same language and had been here for 3 years.  Sui was also the interpreter between me and the boy.  From this I learned the support of the first language is very important for ESL students of older age. 
My Asian face brought me closer to them, and made them very curious about my first language and background.  They found a book written in multi-languages and invited me to read the Chinese part, while they read in their first languages.  They asked me how to say “hello”, “goodbye” “Where are you going” in Chinese and made me repeat again and again, even asked me to give each of them a Chinese name.  Later, I had to remind them I was here to teach English, not Chinese.  However, these interesting interactions indicated that these students were very self conscious about their culture and language.  In order to lower the affective filters of ESL students, their culture and language, their first language skills should be valued by the teacher.
The theme of our first class was the poem I Don’t Want to Do Homework.  I started planning for the instruction by looking at my ELPS for their language proficiency level.  The boy was definitely at beginning level, while the girls are at intermediate level.  I tried the following 3 things in my group:
1.  Music.  Since the poem goes well to the tune of Take Me Out to the Ball Game, I used the music ( of the song.  I chose the version without lyrics so that the students could match the music and the poem perfectly without being distracted.  I brought my laptop to Heart House and led students to sing out the poem with music.  The students were excited and enjoyed the singing.  I think using music to teach English is an effective strategy, especially for younger learners.  Music helps with their memorization of the poem, and helps them retain the memory that related to the leaning of language.

2.  I used graphic organizer in the teaching of vocabulary.  As one type of instructional scaffolding, graphic organizers help students organize and visualize the information they are learning.  I used a revised Frayer Model to teach vocabulary such as “math” “parade”.
3.  For the third class, I prepared a work scramble game on the theme of Thanksgiving. I chose this game mainly based on the consideration of differentiated instruction. I wanted to use something that allows both my beginning level boy and the intermediate girls to create their answers of their levels.  This word scramble game provided us with this flexibility. 
I also prepared a reading article on Thanksgiving for the very last class, and included 2 reflection questions, “ Did you ever move to a place that was very different from your former home?  Was it hard to get used to?  Did anyone help you find your way around?” “Thanksgiving is an American holiday celebrating harvest and giving thanks.  Is there an important holiday in your culture?  Use the Venn diagram to compare Thanksgiving with a holiday in your home culture.  Consider the difference of their names, time of celebration, tradition, history, foods, purpose, etc.)  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to use these materials since the children were making art projects and we felt hard to interrupt them.  Anyway, I think I had some good thoughts on relating the learning materials to the students’ real life circumstances. 
Tutoring at Heart House was an unforgettable experience.  Children benefited from this after school program.  Ms. Jenny in the Pineland location said she witnessed great progress children are making months after their enrollment.  The safe environment and academic support provided by Heart House made these immigrant children’s adaption to the U.S. easier.  Heart House also helped build a community where these students can speak their home language, make friends, and find support from their peers.  At the same time, Heart House also benefit the employers since the working parents could remain focused on their jobs in the afternoon knowing that their children are safe and supervised (Heart House, 2011).
Through the tutoring at Heart House, I learned in order to help ESL students, an ESL teacher should:
1.             Respect and value their first language, relate learning with their prior experience and real life circumstance, praise their bilingual skills, celebrate their culture and build their confidence and self-esteem.
2.             Focus on teaching vocabulary, because learning vocabulary is essential for learners of all proficiency levels.  Provide visual support for younger learners and learners at beginning level.
3.             Allow the use of first language among students.  Provide support of first language when possible. 
Echevarria, J., Vogt, M., & Short, D.J. (2008).  Making content comprehensible for English learners: the SIOP model (3rd ed.).  Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc.
English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS). (2011).
Heart House (2011).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Final Reflection--Technology is Awesome!

        Along with the fast progress of human innovation, technology provides today’s education with new horizons and unlimited possibilities for technology use in schools and classrooms.  I believe this technology course helps prepare today’s classroom teachers with current and wide knowledge of technology uses in educational settings, as well as chances to learn and practice their technology integration to serve their teaching works.
I would still recommend using the same textbook (Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching, by Boblyer & Doering), organized, based on solid educational theories, including rich and up-to-date information of software and websites, which is one of my favorite parts of this course (my most memorable moments are those when I was playing with the technology tools, software, and exploring the websites recommended in the chapters).  It is great when you don’t have to search aimlessly and take lessons from your failures.  With the guidance, you are simply learning the best and most successful practices of technology.  Now I have better and clearer pictures of the categories and types of educational technologies.  In my area of teaching, I know where to find these technology resources and what websites and software are reliable and top-rated.
I also learned the foundations of effective technology integration are learning theories, essential conditions and Technology Integration Planning (TIP) Model.  TIP model is central to the successful technology implementation.   Classroom teachers should always use this model to guide through their practice, starting from self-assessment of their knowledge, determining relative advantages, deciding on objectives and assessments, to designing integration strategies, preparing for the instructional environment, and evaluation. 
The best thing I took out from this course is I actually started using some of the technologies in my teaching.  I tried using Voicethread, the digital story telling tool, to model reading for my students who speak a different home language, and provide opportunities for them to learn each other.  I created podcasts and uploaded the recording of text and stories in second language for students to listen and finish assignments.  I polished my skills of using Microsoft Word Processor, in the preparation of teaching materials and test papers.  I feel like I am no longer afraid of using technology.  I also received positive feedbacks from both my students and parents.
I took one of Dr. Tiffily’s courses in the spring, and she closed our course by recounting a true story happened on her:  trying to save a failing marriage, she went to a book store and started reading a book that was supposed to help.  As she browsing through the pages, she noticed the book offered strategies such as writing little love notes and hide them under the pillow, or having a romantic dinner in a fancy restaurant to recall the old memories and so forth.  “Nothing special, everybody knows these little tricks”, she came to the last page, which seemed to respond to her thinking, “These small things might not be big deals, but how many of these things did you actually TRIED to save your relationship?” 
I am always inspired by the story and believe this also suits the situation of educational technology integration.  Ask yourself: How many of the technologies and strategies have you actually used in your teaching?  Keep in mind: It is good to think big, but it is also important to start small.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Professional Development Networking with Technology

        As John Cotton Dana said, “Who dares to teach must never cease to learn”.  It is imperative for teachers to constantly update their knowledge and learn new skills that could be applied in their classrooms and make some positive change immediately.  Schools and districts usually provide regular opportunities of teacher professional development, and actively encourage teachers to attend workshops and conferences. Research has shown there is a positive correlation between teachers’ seeking professional development and their students’ performance.

        One of the latest trends for using educational technology to improve professional development is learning through online communities.  Online communities for teacher professional development may take the form of forums, chat rooms, bulletin board, web blogs, or taking an online course through class management software such as Blackboard.  Online learning communities allow teachers to connect to and facilitate with their peers outside their work place.  Duncan-Howell conducted a study among 98 teachers who participated in online communities for professional development (2010). These teachers reported the following advantages of learning through online communities:

  • Online communities provided flexibility of time and convenience of place.
  • The asynchronous nature of online communities gave teachers time to think, reflect and compose their answers.
  • Online communities offered wide range of communication and rich experience with educators across the world.

Online learning communities also offered economic advantages: teachers can make use of the freely available online resources and networks, and save the cost of traveling and hotel if they attend a conference somewhere else.  

Online learning communities are especially effective for meeting teachers’ needs for immediate classroom application and problem-solving.  They could suggest good novels for grade-level reading, discuss behavior management strategies for particular problems, share useful online resources and websites, exchange experiences on technology implication and ask for advice on technique problems.  The topics are closely related to teachers’ real life classroom practice, and the responses through online communities can be very fast.

According to the same study of Duncan-Howell (2010), the disadvantage of using online communities reported by teachers is interestingly the same as the one of the advantages: the flexibility of time may cause time management issues. It seemed that careful management is needed to sort through the emails and threads.

From my personal point of view, I am attracted by online courses because I could save my time spent on traveling to classrooms, and manage my own learning based on my schedule.  Blackboard, as the class management software we are currently using for most of the graduate courses, has provided many benefits that support the collaborative learning among students. I like the features that allow students to share their thoughts, questions, and products, as well as the features of recording everything in the system for me to look back later, even when I am finished with a course. 

As a non-traditional learning mode, Blackboard SMU is not necessarily accepted and liked by all professors and students. It gave me a bad time when I first try to be familiar with it, but now, I am very glad to see I have learned how to use it and make the best out of the community created by it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Assistive Technology in Second Language Teaching

       In my 10+ years of experience as a second language teacher, I had never taught any “special” student until 2 years ago, when Matthew came into my classroom.  An 8th grader of Chinese heritage, Matthew speaks English at school and Cantonese at home.  His dad was very proud of his intelligence in Math.  Unlike other students who usually come to Chinese school under the pressure of their parents, Matthew showed strong interest in picking up Chinese Mandarin.  However, I realized Matthew was far behind the other students in terms of his language proficiency from the first class: he seemed to have trouble identifying different sounds and tones, as well as linking words and their meanings.  As a teacher, I really appreciate Matthew’s enthusiasm and his parents’ kind support, but 2 years passed, Matthew’s oral output is still incomprehensible, most of his writing is a strange mixture of English and Cantonese structures plus literal translations from English to Chinese.  As a matter of fact, the way he speaks English and Cantonese is also “different” from other kids.

Matthew was diagnosed with brain tumor and had a minor surgery, which I believe are the roots for his talent in Math and incapability in languages.  It is not hard to imagine students with learning disabilities, hearing or vision impairment experience difficulty taking in, retaining, and expressing information of language in second language classrooms.  Teaching second language to these special learners could be a daunting task.

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange provided guidelines and tips on teaching foreign language to students with disabilities, and recommended the following uses of assistive technology for students in learning a foreign language (

·       JAWS screenreading software. (

·       ZoomText text enlarger and screenreader.  (

Another topic related to both special education and second language teaching is the sign language.  Sign language is considered as one type of second language used by deaf or hearing impaired population.  Assistive technologies on sign language recognition and translation are being developed by researchers. Apps of learning sign language are available in the market for iPhone and iPad users.

In the area of second language teaching, I believe there are more opportunities than issues for improving the access of assistive technology.  The prices for most assistive technology products are affordable, ranging from several dollars to hundreds of bucks.  A variety of funds and grants is available for disabled students to apply for.  With the progress of in-depth research and the fast growth of technology,  the special needs and educational rights of students with disabilities would be better met and protected.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Research Trends: Podcasting in Second Language Teaching

As the technology of computer and the Internet changed communication capacities in ways that shaped our lifestyles, offices, as well as educational practices, one of the recent developments of the educational software support tools is web-connectivity features: the basic tools (e.g. video, audio, movies) allow “live” web page links, and allow documents to be exported and viewed on the Internet (Roblyer & Doering, 2007).
 Podcasting, the recording of class lectures to make them available online, so students can download to their iPod/MP3 players for later review, is a web-based technology appeared in colleges recently. Purdue University (2006) has delivered their podcasting of lectures from more than 70 classrooms; both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2007) and the University of California at Berkeley (2007) allow for studio and video streaming of some campus lectures and events (O’Bryan & Hegelheimer, 2007).
What are the potentials of implementing podcasting into second language classroom?  O’Bryan and Hegelheimer (2007), researchers of Applied Linguistics and Technology at Iowa State University, conducted a small sized study on using podcasting with language learners.  Six college and graduate level ESL students participated in this 15-week-long research project on academic English listening strategies.  Hosted on a course weblog, 14 podcasts (12 audio, 2 video) designed specifically for the listening course were assigned throughout the semester to coincide with the topics covered in class: academic and general listening strategies students would use as they listen to the lectures, take notes, and address difficulties that may come up in class.  Students had the choice to either listen or view these podcasts on a computer, or download to their personal computers or MP3 players.  After each podcasting assignment, students completed a quiz or task over the content of the podcasts in webCT, a course management system, in order to assess their comprehension. 
The researchers’ instructional goals of utilizing podcasting included:
1.     Make language input salient by having vocabulary repeated and more likely to be acquired by the language learners;
2.     Provide multiple modes of input (verbal, audio, and video), so that students have access to the same information in different modes that bring out better understanding and retention;
3.     Offer outside and authentic perspectives, through interviews of other language learners or professors in real life.
4.     Increase intrinsic motivation, by embracing the motivational appeal inherent in many multimedia-based language learning tools.
The project was evaluated at the end of the semester, both instructor’s and students’ reflections were investigated:
The instructor reported two main benefits of using podcasting:
1.     Podcasts extended class time by allowing students to spend additional time working with the concepts taught in class outside of class.
2.     Students have the opportunities to gain more exposure to different types of spoken English since some of the speakers on the podcasts have accents.
The students’ feedbacks were collected through an 18-item survey.  They responded that podcasting is interesting, closely linked to the class content, formative, and helpful, and they believed podcasts were a positive component of the course.
The researchers concluded that although small-sized (6 students and 1 instructor), this research provides a detailed example of how computer-assisted language learning can be achieved through the technology of podcasting.  Researchers also raised 2 issues that were important in implementing technology into classrooms:
1.     The instructor needs to be well-trained in realistic uses of technology.
2.     Face to face meetings between students and instructor is helpful to bridge the gap between what goes on in class and what they are doing outside of it.
Useful inks:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Need of Integrating Technology into Second Language Classroom

I had some trouble helping my son with his 4th grade math homework one night: neither of us understood the term Front End Estimation.  I received education from a different country and there was no such a term in any math course I have taken.  My son wasn’t sure if the teacher had explained it to the class, or he was not paying attention when she did that.  So, as what we usually do, we googled Front End Estimation and found this:  Thanks to the modern technology, both of us were enlightened within less than 1 minute.
Technology has been increasingly essential to both learning and teaching, as technology opened a new horizon where teachers and students can access to knowledge in various pathways and modes, find answers in seconds, finish their assignments and projects in productive ways, and share their learning process and results with a broad audience. 
Ten years ago, when I started teaching as a second language teacher, the integration of technology was limited to TV, cassette recorders, CD and VCD players, and the language laboratory which basically served as a listening classroom and test center.   Students were carrying heavy and bulky dictionaries into the classrooms.  Teachers were using textbooks and chalks/markers to teach. All the assessments and tests were based on pencil and paper.
What is happening to the second language classroom in the new era of information and technology?  When cassette recorders, TVs, and bulky dictionaries have all become passé and gone with the wind, almost every modern classroom has access to internet and computer software developed for language learners, a wide collection of on-line teaching resources pertaining to textbooks is available, teachers are bringing their laptops to the classrooms, and students are looking up words on electronic or on-line dictionaries. The methodology of teaching second language is also experiencing innovations.  Researchers at New York Institute of Technology, Hsu, Wang, and Comac designed and implemented audioblogs into the curriculum of a college ESL conversation course (2008). ( Through the use of affordable and easy to use websites and recording software, the students were able to receive feedback fast and frequently from the instructor, while the instructor was allowed to chronically record and monitor the learning progress of each learner.
The other benefits of integrating technology into second language classrooms include:
·       motivating learners of all levels and age groups
·        helping students visualize underlying concepts in unfamiliar or abstract topics (Roblyer & Doering, 2007, p15)
·       giving language learners access to the language environment which could be outside the classroom or faraway abroad.
·       providing practice and drills related to specific language skills, such as listening and speaking
Along with the trend in which teachers and educational researchers acknowledge the great impact of technology on education and have been progressively studying the theories and practices of successful implementation of technology into education, researchers and language teachers have agreed that technology cannot replace good teachers and face-to-face interactions between the teacher and students. “A pencil is high tech as long as our students are concerned” (Wrigley & Guth, 1992, p95).  Simply having students use technology does not raise achievement.  The impact depends on the ways the technology is used and the conditions under which applications are implemented (Roblyer & Doering, 2007, p13).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Galveston, TX----Escape from the heat of Dallas!

Brother & Sister
Water fight!

My mom is paying a short visit from China.
Feeding Seagulls

Grandma & Weiwei

Ahhh!  Now I can finally release my energy!

Grandma strolling on the beach.
Husband fishing
40 Sea trouts overnight

The fish ended up in here!

Hermit crabs can only survive on rocky beaches.

Quiet Morning

Ms. Little Beautiful

Simply happy!

Our favorite Mexican restaurant

All wet feels good!

Scarlet Ibis----Rain Forest, Moody Gardens

Rain Forest Plant

White-Faced Saki

Rain Forest Flower Idonnothename

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Heritage Language Teaching

 Differentiated Instruction in Heritage Language (HL) Teaching
In one of her articles, Polinsky (2007) recounted the story of Jim, a student “at a prestigious American university.  He is planning to go to law school and has many talents: he is a member of the debate club, and editor-in-chief of the school newspaper; he plays the flute, holds numerous winning titles in wrestling, has been on the dean’s honor list since his freshmen year, and is universally liked as a charming, articulate, caring person.  He is an all-American, well-rounded guy.  Jim has a dark secret, though: he has not really spoken to his grandparents since he was five, he cannot write to them, and he cannot even sign his name” (p. 368).

“Jim’s grandparents speak no English.  Jim’s birth name is Cho Dong-In.  He is a Korean American who can barely speak in Korean”(p. 368).  In the early 21st century, about one third of incoming college students in America are like Jim.  They “speak American” and their knowledge of the language they were exposed to from birth can range from limited to nonexistent (Polinsky, 2007, p.369).

Heritage language (HL) is the language spoken by the children of immigrants or by those who immigrated to a country when young. HL can be refugee, and indigenous languages, as well as former colonial languages. HL is also referred to as “minority language” or “community language”(Pérez, 2010, p.71).  Thirty years ago, HL speakers were called semispeakers or incomplete acquirers (Polinsky, 2007).  The U.S. as a country conducts bilingual education in a way that reflects an underlying theory that there is “something wrong with language minority students and that they need to be fixed through compensatory types of programs” (Pérez, 2010, p.72).  However, with the use of the term “heritage language” appeared 10 years ago, and the progress of the in-depth study on heritage language teaching and learning, a shift of attitudes toward HL and HL learners is called for.  Researchers advocated that it is time to stop viewing language minority students as deficient or academically unmotivated, and it is time to start valuing their HL skills as assets that contribute to our classrooms, communities and country (Pérez, 2010).  Although HL speakers’ learning experiences of their HL might be incomplete or interrupted, when being put in the same classroom as non HL learners, the linguistic advantages of HL learners will still be able to place them years ahead of non-HL learners.  For example, if our country and government needs some people with Arabic language proficiency to work in foreign affairs in the Middle East, teaching the HL speakers of Arabic and help them reach high proficiency will take shorter time than teaching other learners from the scratch.  Polinsky (2007) proposed that HL speakers are an underutilized national resource in the U.S. and it was an exciting and daunting task for educators to formulate the “proper” instruction in the classroom.

As a long-term foreign language teacher, I have observed how HL speakers can easily excel their non HL peers in the same language classroom, and how individually diverse the HL speakers learning experiences and needs were.  As a part-time teacher at several community-based Chinese HL schools, I also observed the strong contrast between immigrant parents’ and their children’s attitudes toward HL maintenance.  When the parents usually held positive attitudes toward HL learning and make efforts to help the children maintaining the HL, the younger generation failed to recognize the necessity and importance of retaining their HL. The lack of support from the mainstream education system, the strong trend of assimilation to English language among immigrant families might have contributed to the HL’s being ignored.  But at the level of classroom, is there anything that the classroom teacher can do to enhance the HL learning?  On the other hand, the HL learners are not a homogenous group. The HL speakers’ learning experiences and language skills may vary diversely from individual to individual even within the same generation.  How to meet each individual’s needs in a mix-ability classroom?   I am trying to seek answers from differentiated instruction.

Differentiated Instruction in HL Teaching (Outline)

Differentiation Strategies:

1.               Use literature to engage HL learners and teach them the structures of their HL.  Critically analyze the moral and standards conveyed by the texts in relation to the mainstream value.

2.               Utilize the HL in conjunction with English; work on the relationship between languages.

3.               Use electronic media and computer-based instructional materials.

4.               Make the HL learning relative to their real-life circumstances, to the mainstream culture to which they are exposed to.

5.               Respect the non-standard form of language while encouraging students to become proficient in the standard form of language.

6.               HL literacy instruction.  From “bilingual” to “biliteracy”.

7.               One-on-one coaching for students.  Connect the HL learning to community.


Often entwined with immigrants’ ethnic identity and subject to the assimilative forces of English language in the mainstream education system, the questions in the field of HL teaching and learning has been complicated and not been fully explored.  Study showed that HL learners at college level are highly self-determined and motivated to retain their HL, either because they consider HL as a central part of their identity, they want to polish their language skills to be more competitive in the work market, or they feel that it their responsibility to pass their culture and heritage to the next generation.  Contrarily, HL learners of younger age are still experiencing considerable HL loss and are not motivated to maintain their HL although their parents made great efforts and even became the HL teachers of the children. The main factor that affects immigrant children attitudes toward HL is the pressures of linguistic and cultural conformity in the school environments, especially as the children enter adolescence. The younger HL speakers’ perception of HL being “useless” and “unprofitable” also reveals a lack of support for HL learning in the mainstream American schools and in the larger society (Zhang, 2009).

To reverse the reality that HL teaching and learning is ignored in the U.S., policy changes are needed at both national and district level.  But in the classroom practice of HL teachers, they can seek help from differentiated instruction to engage the younger HL learners and increase their motivation to learn.  For teachers of the mainstream classroom, one advice they can take home is that when possible, praise the HL skills of minority students and give them credit for keep learning their HL.