Rethinking “Equity Sticks”: Engaging Emergent Bilinguals in Discussing Texts

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Text-related oral participation is ubiquitous in literacy and language instruction. As such, considering how invitations to these interactions are framed is critical, as this framing is directly implicated in the design of equitable classrooms. In this Teaching Tip, one common technique teachers have been encouraged to use—a class set of “equity sticks”—is reconsidered through the lens of asset-based instruction for all learners including emergent bilinguals (EBs). Reframing how EBs are invited to respond to texts requires that teachers get to know their students, privilege multilingualism, provide scaffolding for oral discussion, and encourage responses that transcend linguistic modalities.