How Can Teachers Maximize Engagement among Multilingual Students?

Promising Practices, Research

Building bridges, not walls: Leveraging student diversity in the classroom

A new fact sheet by the national EdCan Network of educators entitled How Can Teachers Maximize Engagement among Multilingual Students? outlines practical ways that Canadian teachers can implement inclusive learning strategies and programs that heighten engagement among students from immigrant backgrounds.

Authored by Dr. Jim Cummins, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UT), this timely resource reveals that students who are encouraged to use their home languages alongside the language of the classroom will come to view themselves as talented and accomplished speakers of multiple languages who are more likely to engage academically.

“With ever-increasing racial, linguistic and religious student diversity, we’d like to provide concrete support to educators and education leaders who are grappling with how they should create more culturally and linguistically inclusive spaces despite having limited knowledge of students’ home languages or experiences,” says Max Cooke, EdCan Network Interim CEO.

In addition to the downloadable copy of the fact sheet, available at, also included are several examples of teacher-driven projects that leverage students’ multiple languages as enrichment opportunities for all students.

This fact sheet was made possible with the generous financial support of the Desjardins Foundation and the Canadian Schools Boards’ Association.


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EdCan Network

The EdCan Network is the independent national organization with over 140,000 members working tirelessly to ensure that all students discover their place, purpose and path.

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