Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching

clrt Today’s ELA/Literacy standards require a command of Academic Classroom English (ACE) in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, and high expectations for every student. However, most educators (and the public) still view students who live in poverty and/or are Standard English Learners (who speak varieties of English that differ significantly from ACE) through a deeply ingrained deficit perspective.

Robert Meyer, the President of Ventris Learning, and Lisa Schmucki, the founder of, met up for an interview recently on Education Talk Radio, hosted by Larry Jacobs, to talk about this subject. Ventris Learning has launched a free professional learning community (PLC) on to help educators develop an awareness and understanding of evidence-based responsive instructional practices that help every student succeed academically.


Ventris Learning was founded in 2013 to provide language development resources for under-served students. During the interview, Robert Meyer commented that culturally and linguistically responsive teaching is a movement that has been going on for a long time, and educators have produced a great body of work in this area. He added that the edWeb program is a big milestone that can help Ventris use social media and marketing communications to help other educators learn about this work.

Robert noted that students need to master the language of school and the professional world, but that there is a deeply ingrained world view about children living in poverty, the underachievers, the children at risk. There is a bias that African American language is substandard.  Teachers need to create awareness of the difference without judgement, and do it in an educationally sound way, not in a way that is demeaning.

Ventris Learning is named after the language prodigy Michael Ventris.

Ventris Learning’s new community on, Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching, offers educators a place to post questions, share practical tips, and get feedback from experts and peers on the issues and challenges in working with young, diverse learners. The PLC also offers free webinars for educators. Webinar participants receive a CE Certificate for attending a live webinar or for viewing a recording.

View the recording of the initial webinar, “Developing a Multi-District Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Teaching Initiative,” that was presented by Wisconsin educators Michelle Belnavis and Andreal Davis on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.

All educators are invited to join this new free community at