(Length: 12:31)

In the video series, From Awareness to Action: Culturally Responsive Teaching in the Adult ESOL Classroom, you will see a teacher demonstrating these elements of CRST:

  • A classroom environment that is inclusive, affirming, and equitable
  • Recognizing students’ diverse cultures and identities as assets
  • A curriculum and instructional materials with diverse perspectives
  • High expectations for all learners, fostering critical thinking skills, civic engagement, and a commitment to social justice
  • Critically assessing one’s own biases, assumptions, and beliefs and understanding how these can influence instruction

This first, abridged video highlights how Saralé Lizdas, a teacher from the International Language Institute in Northampton, Massachusetts, creates an inclusive, affirming, and equitable learning environment and recognizes the students’ diverse cultures and identities as assets. (See video below.) Additionally, the instructional materials used in the lesson are drawn from the students’ diverse cultures.  As you watch this abridged video, see what you notice:

  • The students, and the teacher, share cultural objects that are important to them.
  • The students ask each other questions and talk about aspects of their cultures.
  • All students are included, even those who don’t use their video camera.
  • The teacher puts students into small groups and gives them ample time to expand on their cultural object.
  • She gives them a framework (The 5-Dimensions of Culture) for thinking, talking, and writing about culture.
  • She shows genuine interest in and affirms what students are saying about their cultures, listens attentively, asks follow-up questions, laughs and responds appreciatively.
  • The teacher invites students to use their other languages if they need to, acknowledging that their multilingualism is an asset.
  • What other examples of CRST do you notice?

The second, unabridged video (below) shows the same lesson in full and demonstrates more examples of these elements of CRST.

(Length: 51:22)


Either video can be viewed in a variety of settings for different purposes, such as those below. Note that links open in a new window.


In any of the above settings, you can use the CRST video viewing guide as you watch the video. The guide was created to facilitate a more active, engaging viewing experience for you and your colleagues. While the discussion/reflection prompts are designed for group viewing, they can be used for individual reflection as well.


Topic Area
Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Teaching
ESOL/English Learners
Professional Standards
Media Type
Resource Type
PD Center
SABES English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum & Instruction PD Team
Action Type