DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Homework Assignment


There were no ELL students in my classes during my student teaching at The Lincoln School, but I taught several foreign students in the past, and I have certainly thought about my practice as it applies to English-language learners.


I think that this assignment could have been a good approach to addressing some struggles English-language learners may experience in a rigorous academic environment.


Contemporary World Issues

Mrs. Chelukhova

Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism – Comparison


This assignment is due on Monday, November 14, 2011.


Using your understanding of history, write a comparison between an authoritarian and a totalitarian state. You should use two examples from Section 2, Chapter 24: you may use Italy and Spain or U.S.S.R. and Spain.


In one paragraph:


  1. Please make sure to say which country was totalitarian and which one was authoritarian.
  2. Please make sure to explain why one country was totalitarian and why the other was authoritarian.
  3. Please be sure to refer to the definitions of totalitarianism and authoritarianism provided in your textbook or in any other reliable source.
  4. Please be sure to cite your sources.


As a list of bullet points:


  1. Based on the two examples, please make a list of general totalitarian and authoritarian political qualities.


In an illustration:


  1. Please draw two propaganda posters for the same cause but from two different political perspectives
  2. For example, imagine a picture of "Drink more milk" with the usual milk mustaches.
  3. In a totalitarian state, I may draw a picture which will look like "Drink more milk, or the secret police will lock you up" – the sad face without milk mustaches behind bars, the face with milk mustaches out and smiling.
  4. In an authoritarian state, the same idea may look like a picture of "Drink more milk, support the cow of your local landlord" – the smiling face with mustaches giving thumbs-up to the cow of a local landlord.
  5. The cause of your poster does not need to be political.
  6. Please use color in your poster.
  7. Please use imagination and humor.




I believe this assignment may be an effective approach to developing English and content skills of English-language learners for several reasons:


  • The assignment is based on a concrete part of the textbook material, which is not overwhelming in length (it is two-pages long).
  • Part 2 of the assignment asks for a definition, which is clearly stated in the textbook, can be obtained from a dictionary, or may be found on-line.
  • Part 3 of the assignment asks the students to employ non-verbal communication. The biggest difficulty I see in Part 3 is understanding of what is expected. If there were an ELL student in class, I would have drawn pictures to illustrate the requirements instead of describing the assignment in words.

I would have used images similar to the actual work my students produced.  They might have looked like these pictures:





  • Part 1 of the assignment is the most difficult for an ELL student. If I had ELL students in my classroom, I would have provided them with a graphic organizer to complete this assignment. Depending on their levels of proficiency, I would might have asked them to draw connections between the ideologies.
  • Since the two ideas are very important to understand in the class, I would have made sure the students knew what they were in their native languages.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.