• Foundations of Education for Emergent Bilinguals
  • Session One: Exploring My Culture and ELs Strengths
  • Session Two: Developing Understandings of Culture--Mine and My ELs
  • Session Three: Considering ELs as a Resource in My Teaching
  • Session Four: Developing Knowledge of Assets and Legal Obligations
  • Session Five: Attending to Standards and Classifications with WIDA
  • Session Six: Positioning ELs within the School Game
  • Session Seven: Promoting ELs Learning through My Learning
  • Session Eight: Celebrating and Presenting My Learning
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  • Translations
  • LA 3.3: Mr. Chacon's Story

    Concept Application of Cultural Capital and Deficit Theory


    Learning Outcome Pedagogical Intent Student Position

    Understand and apply knowledge of how cultural identities impact language learning and school success by creating an environment that is inclusive of all students.

    Assessment: 25 pts.

    TA: 30 Minutes

    Teachers can identify and recognize social theories of Cultural Capital and Deficit Theory and discuss how these orientations can affect their pedagogy.

    Students have learned about the socioeconomic level, immigrant status, and language factors that affect the culture of English learners and their families. They have watched a video explaining social theories and have heard Mr. Chacon’s story.  They are now prepared to learn about how deficit orientations affect their participation in schools.


    1. As a class you will watch a video on resistance. Your facilitator will share the video, but you can access it independently at this link. You will scroll down to Session 3 on the left side of the screen and then select Segment 2. Then move back to the top and click on the small video screen to watch. You can access the viewing guide from this link.
    2. Working with a partner, read  “Mr. Chacon’s Story,” underlining and labeling the evidence of deficit theory and cultural capital you see in the story. These terms are defined in a graphic organizer found at the end of the viewing guide you accessed earlier in this activity.  
    3. After you have read the story, record your thinking in the chart following Mr. Chacon's Story. Be sure to record the evidence as well as think about why the evidence you selected falls under the definition of deficit theory or cultural capital.
    4. Participate in a whole class discussion about deficit theory, cultural capital, and this story and share your ideas. 

    This content is provided to you freely by Equity Press.

    Access it online or download it at https://equitypress.org/bilingual_education/la_3.3.