Teaching is hard enough without cultural and linguistic differences in students from abroad and within the U.S. Your students want to be engaged. These tips and resources are to help you help your CLD* students learn in the classroom.

Best Practices for Teaching CLD Students

*CLD: Culturally and linguistically diverse. Refers to students, including but not limited to international students, who may self-identify with multiple languages and cultures.

Refer to academic support services

Refer your students to English language support services if they need additional academic support in writing or other modalities. Socialize the students into accessing services including inviting students to your office hours. Seeking support may be a socially and culturally bound concept so please encourage your students to access services.

Understand the U.S. university environment

Support students’ understanding of the U.S. university environment. Do not assume silence or lack of participation means a student is not proficient in English. Other cultures and educational systems have teacher-centered instruction where the expectation may be that it is rude or impolite to interact or participate. Be sensitive to the use of idioms or slang and if you are using those, use it as a teachable moment (i.e., out of the blue, rule of thumb).


Use a learning management system

Continue to make use of a Learning Management system such as Canvas to share information from class, record lectures and provide timely feedback about academic performance.

Use diverse perspectives


Make use of the diverse perspectives in your classroom as you consider how to administer the curriculum in an inclusive and culturally sensitive manner.

Set expectations

Get to know your students by establishing inclusive class expectations and support structures, and put them in the syllabus.

  • List the days and times in which you are likely to read and respond to emails.

Contact us

We offer additional training and support to faculty, staff, and students.