Culturally Responsive Teaching Using The SIOP Model

In this infographic and personal reflection, we will meet the following learning outcomes:

  1. To explain the SIOP Model.
  2. To describe how to apply the SIOP Model in lesson planning and instruction.
  3. To explain where and how the SIOP Model addresses socio- cultural competence.

View Padlet explaining the SIOP Model in explicit detail with examples for lessons HERE.

Personal Reflection on Culturally Responsive Teaching

The SIOP Model is an instructional framework that ‘intersects quite naturally’ (jechevarria, 2020) with culturally responsive teaching (CRT). One example is how the SIOP model for teaching provides multiple ways for English language learners to access and participate in grade level content (2020). ‘Every child deserves to be equally accepted as part of her class and/or school’ (2020). With being equally engaged in the classroom and school, students are engaged in not only the academics, but also the social activities of their school community. A foundational principle of the SIOP Model is for teachers to have high expectations of students’ response to learning. With this foundational principle, and equal participation of students the classroom, lessons could include mother tongue language and cultural perspectives to bridge meaning between the English language in instruction and students’ first language. 

Here are some examples how the SIOP Model intersects with Culturally Responsive Teaching:

Lesson Preparation- Teachers create lessons based on language learning outcomes and create lesson instructional strategies and activities. In this stage, teachers can include mother tongue comparisons to build opportunities for meaningful engagement and comprehension between students. Modified assignments are another way for students to learn the same content but through different tasks and can be presented as culturally relevant to students’ backgrounds (2020). 

Building Background– Classrooms where teachers use the SIOP Model are student- centered and lessons are built on students’ background knowledge and experiences. Teachers can integrate English learners’ world views into lessons to include cultural heritage as a learning opportunity for all students (2020). 

Comprehensible Input– Teachers using the SIOP Model incorporate teaching strategies like hand-on activities, modelling, and repetition to support learners with language learning and comprehension throughout the lessons.

Strategies– Scaffolding techniques as a method to connect a student’s previous knowledge with the lesson delivery is one way teachers can connect background cultural heritage and experiences to the  classroom environment. 

Interaction– Teachers can set a tone of mutual respect and caring in their classrooms to model and encourage students to interact respectively and productively with one another (2020). Creating space in the lesson planning  and allowing time for meaningful and productive interaction between students provides opportunities for small group work and other activities where students of different cultural backgrounds and ethnicities interact together and complete tasks together.

Practice & Application– Teachers who use the SIOP Model can create lesson activities where students practice and apply what they have learned. Students can be encouraged to create their work including representation of their cultural identities. 

Lesson Delivery– Lesson plans created with the SIOP Model can include activities and resources that are culturally responsive to the student community. 

Review & Assessment– ‘Formative and summative assessments are multifaceted and take into consideration the various contexts of a student’s life including home, school, culture, home language, and literacy development in both their home langue and English’ (2020). 

Further Reading

Culturally Sustaining Teachers

World- Readiness Standards for Learning Languages

WIDA Standards Framework

The C6 Bi-literacy Framework

SIOP Model: A Professional Development Model


jechevarria. (2020, February 29). Is SIOP Teaching Culturally Responsive? Reflections on Teaching English Learners.


Published by suzannemarie

Living life to its fullest. I believe in courageously honouring my truth. I am a published author & educator who helps current and future leaders. Lover of meaningful conversations, coffee, food, and learning, I am a global citizen and spiritual badass by day and aspiring yogi by night.

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