Engaging Bi/Multilingual Students in Inquiry & Argument Writing

Creating an assets-based and translanguaging classroom

Engaging Bi/Multilingual Students in Social Studies Inquiry and Argument Writing Webinar

Full participation

Bilingual and multilingual students who are learning English in your classroom need support to participate in the full inquiry process. Students learn language and social studies simultaneously when they are able to participate in meaningful ways. Your inquiry classroom can position bilingual and multilingual learners to share their knowledge and experience from their home cultures when you invite them to interact with others by drawing on all the meaning-making resources they bring to the classroom, including their home language(s).

Assets-based, translanguaging classroom

Creating an assets-based classroom that recognizes the strengths learners bring as developing bilinguals and as people who share additional cultural insights is a move toward equity and social justice.  Translanguaging, using more than one language to express meaning, enables learners to enact their identities, draw on all their meaning-making resources, and participate in authentic ways.

How Read.Inquire.Write. supports this work

Read.Inquire.Write supports bilingual and multilingual learners at all proficiency levels to engage in inquiry and write arguments that present their perspectives on the investigations’ central questions. The R.I.W. Disciplinary Literacy Tools embed support for students with intermediate levels of English to participate. Scaffolded reading and annotation is offered by the Bookmark tool. Development of supportable claims is guided by theWeigh the Evidence tool activities. The writing process draws on the Planning Graphic Organizer, Mentor Text, Useful Language, and Reflection Tools, with interactive activities that engage your students in disciplinary talk and thinking. These supports for the challenging R.I.W. process engage students who are learning academic English to work together and succeed.


Bilingual and multilingual learners who are newcomers to classroom instruction in English or who have low proficiency in English need further support. Here we offer accommodated materials and suggestions for planning for an assets-based and translanguaging classroom that invites newcomers to share their experiences and insights by drawing on all the knowledge and meaning-making resources they bring to the classroom. Through the planning tools offered here, you can organize your classroom to take advantage of the resources available to you in your context to support all of your students to participate.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. © 2021 Read.Inquire.Write. - University of Michigan - 48109 - readinquirewrite@umich.edu - This content can be re-used in other work as long as attribution is given to the authors: The Read.Inquire.Write. team at the University of Michigan. Indicate if the original was changed. You may not use the material for commercial purposes.

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