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Cultural Competence: What does it mean for educators?

Cultural Competence:  

What does it mean for our educators and ELL population?


Defining cultural competence:

  • Cultural competence is the ability of individuals and organizations to:
    • Assess attitudes, values, and behavior toward diverse cultures.
    • Learn from the multiple cultural experiences and perspectives ("expert knowledge") that people bring to situations.
    • Communicate effectively and appropriately with others who do not share the same culture, ethnicity, gender, etc.
    • Acknowledge inevitable intercultural conflicts and have proactive strategies in place to mediate conflict
    • (source:  Judith A. Nelson, Ph.D. & Rebecca M. Bustamante, Ph.D.)

Our Current Communication Challenges:

  • Approximately 20 different languages spoken in our school
  • 1.5 ELL Teachers
  • Decrease in availability of translators
  • Need to communicate regularly with parents who don't speak English


Communication Resources for Educators (Click each link):



The Schoolwide Cultural Competence Observation Checklist for Professional School Counselors (Powerpoint) by Judith A. Nelson, Ph.D. & Rebecca M. Bustamante, Ph.D.



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