Honouring Culture and Language: Culturally Responsive Teaching in Social Work Education in English medium Instruction



Culturally responsive teaching, English medium instruction, Social work, United Arab Emirates


Language comprehension, practice competence, and cultural identity are common issues within social work instructional environments that use English medium instruction. Eliminating the language of a culture from instruction can also eliminate sociocultural understandings and create disconnects for adapting social work practice to local communities. A culturally responsive teaching approach incorporates the student’s cultural background in teaching. Two social work instructors used reflective journaling to describe their application of culturally responsive teaching within United Arab Emirates social work courses that used English medium instruction. Their descriptions indicated that culturally responsive teaching provided opportunities to identify gaps in student learning and adapt teaching and learning to the local context. 

Author Biography

Beverly A. Wagner, Texas Woman’s University

Beverly Wagner is an Assistant Professor in a social work graduate program at Texas Woman’s University, USA. She previously taught social work in the United Arab Emirates, and has research interests in social work pedagogy and international social work practice. 

Address: Department of Social Work, 304 Administration Drive, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX, 76204, USA


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