Across the Boards – Summer 2018

Arts Features:

York Region District School Board

English Language Learners Express Identity through Art

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Justina So

English Language Learners in York Region District School Board are using art to explore and express their identities, and develop their English language skills. Students use multi-lingual poetry and storytelling, and different art media, including digital tools to share their experiences and identities.

For example, one student, a recent immigrant, used sketch and storytelling to share his family’s story and express his worries about his family’s lack of income source. He sees education as a privilege because his parents gave up being doctors to provide him opportunities for a better education in Canada.

Through this modern learning inquiry into identity and inclusion, both educators and students have deepened their understanding of the intersections of identity. Educators also had the opportunity to work with professional artists and enhance their teaching practices to broaden and support students’ communicative repertoire and language acquisition.

Projects like this one, the Artist-in-Residence programOne Act Plays and others happening across YRDSB help to foster inclusion, encourage student voice and address the diverse needs of our learners.

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