Open-access E-journal for 
International Scholars, Practitioners, and Students of Multicultural Education

ISSN: 1559-5005
Copyright © 1999-2006 by 
Electronic Magazine of Multicultural Education

(Spring 2005: vol. 7, no. 1)

Theme: Multicultural Curriculum for Language Arts

Makinde Landis White-Clark & Lappin


Art Books



Previous Issues
Call for Papers
Call for Reviewers
Issue Themes
About EMME
About the Editors

Heewon Chang, Ph. D.
Linda Stine, Ph. D.
Copy Editor

Hwa Young Caruso,  Ed. D. &  John Caruso, Jr. , Ph. D.
Art Review Editors 
Leah Jeannesdaughter Klerr

Assistant Editor

Eastern University
Education Department
1300 Eagle Road
St. Davids, PA,


Electronic Magazine of Multicultural Education

Spring 2005 (Vol. 7, No. 1)

Theme: Multicultural Curriculum for Language Arts

Overview | Articles | Instructional Ideas | Reviews of Resources


Language arts is the third curricular area EMME focuses on, following math and science in the 2004 Fall issue and social studies in the 2004 Spring issue. Multicultural literature has grown significantly within the last decade, but a multicultural curriculum for language arts is still often construed as simply the inclusion of multicultural books in student reading lists.  While multicultural literature plays an important role in a multicultural curriculum for language arts, multicultural education can be applied not only in content, but also in pedagogy and discourse.  In terms of content integration, Janet Hecsh’s essay in Instructional Ideas presents a way of incorporating multicultural literature in a secondary social studies curriculum, promoting an integrative curriculum model.  Three articles in the Articles section discuss poignant issues of language and literacy education in broader multicultural contexts.  White-Clark and Lappin promote building home-school partnerships so that the language issues and learning styles of multilingual students and their homes can be understood and considered in reading literacy development of these diverse learners.  Like White-Clark and Lappin's article, Landis' article touches on the broader issues of honoring and appreciating the home culture of students.  Critiquing the hegemony associated with mainstream literacy practices and language instruction in the U.S. urban context, she advocates intentional listening to student perspectives, African Americans in this case, in order to break the hegemony and deliver effective instruction to urban students of color.  Makinde introduces to the reader a Nigerian effort to reach multilingual students by acculturating future teachers in a Yoruba language and culture immersion program.

The theme of "multicultural curriculum for language arts" is carried over to the Book Reviews and Multimedia Reviews sections.  Six juvenile and five professional books are reviewed in this issue; the multimedia reviews include five videos (four pertaining to Native American novelists are reviewed together) and five websites. In the Art Reviews section, co-editors Hwa Young and John Caruso review Kehinde Wiley's portraits of young urban Black males exhibited in the Brooklyn Museum. Three sample paintings of the artist included in this section illustrate vividly the significance of the artwork. 

Several individuals have contributed to this issue.  First of all, authors and book reviewers deserve my acknowledgment.  I appreciate their fine scholarship, dedication to the teaching profession, and patience in the publication process.  In addition, our editorial staff, Hwa Young and John Caruso as Art Reviews Co-editors, Linda Stine as Copy Editor, and Leah Klerr as Assistant Editor, have again added the ingredient of excellence to this publication. Without their assistance, this issue would not have seen the light in a timely fashion. Although I cannot name reviewers, I also express my gratitude for their invaluable comments. 

Abstracts of the articles and the instructional ideas are provided below.  Full texts are accessible from the abstracts.  Please enjoy the issue of multicultural curriculum in language arts and send your comments to the editorial staff at

Heewon Chang, Ph. D.



Jean M. Landis
Eastern University
U. S. A.

ABSTRACT: Mandates such as the No Child Left Behind legislation silence cultural and social issues when implementing curriculum, even though it is well established in the multicultural literature that culture is a key force in learning. This article focuses on the literacy perspectives of urban African American children during their literacy practices at school.  These literacy perspectives informed the curriculum by helping to disrupt stereotypes, demonstrating the importance of culture in the curriculum and raising questions about how schools define success. The student voices helped to expand the boundaries of the balanced literacy discourse as prescribed by the National Reading Panel Report (2000)  [FULL TEXT]  



Solomon Olanrewaju Makinde
Lagos State University-Ojo

ABSTRACT: To implement the National Policy on Education, especially on the language provisions for the junior secondary school learners that every Nigerian child must learn one of the three major languages (Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba) in addition to his or her mother tongue, colleges of education in Nigeria have been running first and second language programs in Nigerian languages. Acculturation is an integral aspect of such programs. This paper examines one of the acculturation programs for second language teacher trainees in the Yoruba Language.   [FULL TEXT]  


A Way of Enhancing Reading Literacy of Diverse Learners

Renee White-Clark
Adelphi University
U. S. A.

Grace Lappin
Bank Street Graduate School of Education
U. S. A.

ABSTRACT: Studies confirm that disparities exist in our nation’s schools in the quality of education experienced by typically developing students from middle-class European backgrounds and those students who are ethnically, culturally, or racially diverse or disabled. Teacher education has insufficiently prepared teachers to teach in culturally pluralistic classrooms and collaborate with parents. However, increasing evidence indicates that quality home-school partnerships are crucial to children’s language learning and reading literacy success. Therefore, educators must be prepared to engage parents as partners by welcoming families into the school, especially families from diverse backgrounds. [FULL TEXT]  


Instructional Ideas

Multicultural Book Clubs in Secondary Social Studies Curriculum 

Janet Hecsh
California State University, Sacramento
U. S. A.

ABSTRACT: This article focuses on a set of literacy activities and strategies adapted from English and literacy instruction for secondary school students. The Multicultural Book Club Project assigned in Methods and Materials in Social Science Teaching, a fifth-year course in a teaching credential program, engages teacher candidates in selecting, reading, and designing learning activities linking literature and content. The article provides strategies, references, and ideas for those involved in secondary teacher education. It also argues for engaging learners with multicultural literature as a key element in social studies education and challenges the highly scripted and codified approach endorsed by the high-stakes testing environment so prevalent in contemporary schools. [FULL TEXT]  


Reviews of Resources


Kehinde Wiley's Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum: "Passing and Posing"




Argueta, J. with Gomez, E. (Illustrator). (2005). Moony Luna/ Luna, Lunita Lunera. San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press. 

Gonzalez, R. with Alvarez, C. C. (Illustrator). (2005). Antonio's card / La Tarjeta de Antonio. San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press.

Park, L. S. with Downing, J. (Illustrator) (2004). The firekeeper's son. Brooklyn, NY: Clarion Books. 

Shea, P. D. (2003). Tangled threads: A Hmong girl's story. Brooklyn, NY: Clarion Books. 

Smith, C. L. (2001). Rain is not my Indian name. New York: HarperCollins. 

Smith, C. L. (2002). Indian shoes. New York: HarperCollins.


Greene, S., & Abt-Perkins, D. (Eds.) (2003). Making race visible: Literacy research for cultural understanding. New York: Teachers College.

Norton, D. E. (2004). Multicultural children's literature: Through the eyes of many children (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Ouane, A. (Ed.). (2003). Towards a multilingual culture of education. Hamburg, Germany: UNESCO.

Schecter, S., & Cummins, J. (Eds.) (2003). Multilingual education in practice: Using diversity as a resource. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Schultz, K. (2003). Listening: A framework for teaching across differences. New York: Teachers College.




Guerini, F. (Director). (2000). Native American novelists (4- part Series:  N. Scott Momaday, Leslie M. Silko, Gerald Vizenor, & James Welch). 45-50 minutes (each), color. Distributed by Films for the Humanities & Sciences.   

Rose, Suzanne (Director). (2003). The expanding canon: Teaching multicultural literature in high school (Section 7: Critical Thinking). 60 minutes, color. Professional Development Workshop. Produced by Thirteen/WNET and distributed by Annenberg/CPB.


Discussing Immigration Through Literature

Multicultural Children's Literature

Multicultural Literacy Section of The Literacy Web

Multi-Cultural Children's Literature Section of Frank Rogers' Guide to Children's Literature on the Web

Reading Across the Cultures



Editor-in-Chief: Heewon Chang, Ph. D.
Copy Editor: Linda Stine, Ph. D.

Art Review Co-Editors: Hwa Young Caruso, Ed. D. & John Caruso, Jr., Ph. D.
Assistant Editor: Leah Jeannesdaughter Klerr


Eastern University
Education Department

1300 Eagle Rd.
St. Davids, PA, 19087-3696

Copyright © 2005 by Electronic Magazine of Multicultural Education 
All hyperlinks to other sites are provided for user convenience only;
EMME does not endorse  the linked sites and is not responsible for the content of these sites.