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Education 341: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity


Synthesis is the putting together of parts or elements so as to make up a complex whole; the combination of immaterial or abstract things, or of elements into an ideal or abstract whole...Also, the state of being put so together. (OED)

Synthesis Examples

Synthesis Examples


Example 1:

For example, recess is a key time where these developmental processes take place (Adams-Blair & Oliver, 2011; Reeves, Miller, & Chavez, 2016; Reilly, Buskist & Gross, 2012).


Example 2:

ELL engagement can be increased by the use of diverse texts and media that are culturally relevant to students and authentic to their social lives (Choi, 2013; Devereaux et al., 2012; Herman et al., 2012; Kelly, 2011; Walsh et al., 2015).


Example 3:

Researchers place an emphasis on culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) and critical pedagogy in relation to ELL instruction and the importance of connecting content to students’ cultures (Choi, 2013; Herman et al., 2012; Kelly, 2011).


*Examples are from last semester's class.

Sample Synthesis Chart



Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Article 4


Students struggle with vocab

Vocab is the hardest part for students

Scores are lowest in vocab

Vocab is intimidating


Reading words in context helps


Traditional memorization techniques are less effective than using words in context


Effectiveness of Memorization


Rote memorization is not effective

Students can memorize 10 words max at a time


Read short stories


Create Dialogs

Recommends no more than 10 words a day


Sample synthesis:

Vocabulary is a challenge for students (Author 1, 2, 3, and 4). Traditional rote memorization techniques are not considered the most effective way to learn vocabulary (Author 2 and 3), with Author 4 finding that students can only memorize 10 words at a time. Some studies have found that using or reading words in context helps with learning vocabulary (Author 1, and 3).

Author 1 suggests reading short stories with students to build vocabulary. A similar strategy is presented by Author 3, who suggests creating dialogs to use with students. Both strategies use vocabulary in real-world situations to assist learning.

Synthesis Exercise


1. Each member of your group should select a different article.

2. Read your article.

3. Create the first two columns of a synthesis chart for your article, noting the key points and the category.

4. Copy the key points from your article onto sticky notes.

5. As a group, discuss your articles. On the large sheet of paper, group your sticky notes together by similarities.

6. Copy the relevant points into your synthesis chart.

7. As a group, write a paragraph synthesizing the key points from your articles using the similarities that you found.

8. Add your paragraph to this document. (Each group will have a separate page, scroll down in the document to find an empty page.)

Synthesis Articles

Cain, A. A. (2018). Seven Tips for Teachers of Newcomer Emergent Bilingual Students. Reading Teacher71(4), 485-490. doi:10.1002/trtr.1648



Carger, C. L., & Koss, M. (2014). "Getting to Know You": Using ABC Books to Develop Vocabulary and Exchange Cultural Information with English Language Learners. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 42(4), 11-18. Retrieved from


Nash, K., Panther, L., & Arceā€Boardman, A. (2018). <italic>La Historia de Mi Nombre</italic>: A Culturally Sustaining Early Literacy Practice. Reading Teacher, 71(5), 605-609. doi:10.1002/trtr.1665



Pappas, C. c., Varelas, M., Patton, S. K., Ye, L., & Ortiz, I. (2012). Dialogic Strategies in Read-Alouds of English-Language Information Books in a Second-Grade Bilingual Classroom. Theory Into Practice51(4), 263-272. doi:10.1080/00405841.2012.726054



Truesdell, K. t., & Hill, P. d. (2015). Family Literacy and Global Literature. Reading Teacher68(6), 430-434. doi:10.1002/trtr.1337



Zhao, J., Dixon, L., Quiroz, B., & Chen, S. (2017). The Relationship Between Vocabulary and Word Reading Among Head Start Spanish-English Bilingual Children. Early Childhood Education Journal, 45(1), 27-34. doi:10.1007/s10643-015-0764-8