Front-loading curriculum design: An integrated approach to the multilingual classroom

Karyn Mallett, Anna Habib

Session Information

Year: 2017 | Time: 10:30am-11:10am | Location: TEACHING DEMO 1-A: Johnson Center (Room E)


The best way to support the writing and oral communication of multilingual students is through explicit listening and reading instruction. A recent study by Haan and Mallett (2016) tracked the academic progression of George Mason University international graduate pathway students and found that advanced receptive skills (i.e. reading and listening) are a higher predictor for long-term academic success than strong productive (i.e. writing and speaking) skills. This session will provide pedagogical tools for front-loading an integrated curriculum in order to enhance multilingual students’ reading and listening skills across the disciplines. By making a pedagogical commitment to the teaching of reading for specific rhetorical elements, faculty will discover that students are able to produce more engaged writing with advanced summary and synthesis components, two skills that are necessary for most academic writing assignments required for graduate and undergraduate study. A companion tool will be shared during this session to demonstrate an approach to the teaching and learning of strategic listening necessary for active contributions to classroom presentations and peer-to-peer discussions. Beyond language skill development, both pedagogical strategies covered in this teaching demonstration expand students’ access to content knowledge and enhance their facility with disciplinary discourse.

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