As the comments in the previous section imply, accommodating cultural diversity involves more than adding cultural content to the curriculum—more than celebrating Mexican holidays in an American social studies class, for example, and more than discussing the history of slavery of African-Americans. Dukes, Thomas One of the most difficult tasks business and professional communication teachers face is teaching students to appreciate cultural differences and their effects on business communication, both … Additionally, the government would have information on the gaps in educational achievement between children from various social class, racial, and ethnic groups. The question: “What if a dog were called a cat?” is less likely to confuse even a very young bilingual child. Obviously this sort of attitude poses problems for teachers who try to motivate the students, it also poses problems for the students’ long-term success in life. Educators today hear a lot about gaps in education – achievement gaps, funding gaps, school-readiness gaps. From this perspective, the most worthy person is not the one who is unusual or who stands out in a crowd. Classroom life can then become explicitly. Many activities in school are competitive, even when teachers try to de-emphasize the competition. In most non-Anglo cultures, questions are intended to gain information, and it is assumed that a person asking the question truly does not have the information requested (Rogoff, 2003). The large majority of bilingual students (75 percent) are Hispanic, but the rest represent more than a hundred different language groups from around the world. Schools that showed significant gaps in these levels of performance were mandated to work toward narrowing these gaps. Whatever the case, each bilingual student poses unique challenges to teachers. Types of Cultural Diversity in the Classroom Teaching diversity in the classroom is a key part in establishing an overall school or district policy of cultural diversity. Such languages are especially at risk for being lost. The student who speaks both languages fluently has a definite cognitive advantage. But for heritage languages not normally offered as “foreign” languages in school, of course, this approach will not work. Research has found, in such cases, that the specialist can be more effective if the specialist speaks and uses the first language as well as English (Kohnert, et al., 2005). For students who give priority to these relationships, competition can seem confusing at best and threatening at worst. English-speaking—culture? A student who expects a closer distance than does the teacher may seem overly familiar or intrusive, whereas one who expects a longer distance may seem overly formal or hesitant. As an example of how each international teaching destination can differ to a teacher’s classroom experience in their home country, here are some of the cultural differences that you might notice in student behavior in the South Korean classroom. In this lesson, we will identify and explore cross-cultural differences that may occur in a classroom setting. Schools that acknowledge the diversity of their student population understand the importance of promoting cultural awareness. As the makeup of the US population becomes more diverse, there is more cultural dissonance—which impacts children’s behavior. When a classroom draws students from many cultures or ethnic groups, therefore, the students bring to it considerable diversity. Important cultural differences in the classroom 1. In this broad sense, culture is nearly synonymous with ethnicity, which refers to the common language, history, and future experienced by a group within society. White European American culture has an individual orientation that teaches children to function independently, stand out, talk about them… Since some of the patterns differ from those typical of modern classrooms, they can create misunderstandings between teachers and students (Cazden, 2001; Rogers, et al., 2005). If the student is not aware of this purpose, he or she may become confused, or think that the teacher is surprisingly ignorant. In some cultures, it is common to stand relatively close when having a conversation; in others, it is more customary to stand relatively far apart (Beaulieu, 2004). Teachers need to understand that diversity—understand how students’ habitual attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors differ from each other, and especially how they differ from the teacher’s. Ignoring the increase in diversity is not a helpful response. Cultural Differences in the Classroom Culture is the system of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that constitute the distinctive way of life of a people. And individuals within any given society will vary in their attitudes about personal identity. In studying the “Westward Movement” (the settlement of the American West), for example, it is important to point out that this movement was “westward” only from the point of view of the white Americans living in the eastern United States. You may even end up with classroom conflict because your students have misunderstood each other through the common barrier of the English language. Here are some of the cultural differences that you might notice in student behaviour: Eye contact: Many teachers notice that some of their students, especially English language learners, do not make direct eye contact with the teacher. In addition, it is important to engage students in exploring the culturally-based assumptions of whatever subject they are studying. While it’s important to keep an open dialogue amongst students, it’s … 1995; Francis, 2006). Both languages are developed and supported, and students ideally become able to use either language permanently, though often for different situations or purposes. Learning to fit into a new culture is a challenging task itself, but on the whole, it is an easier task for teachers to work with than oppositional motivation. Consideration for individual learning preferences, student interests, student readiness, and cultural/gender differences can account for variance in student behaviors and student motivation, which may ultimately, indirectly or directly impact student performance as well. Learning these sorts of lessons can help them to better understand English speaking countries beyond the basics. Understanding Culture in the Classroom Although educating students is the main goal of the school, teachers may have different variations on how to accomplish that goal. Get to know all your students as individuals. Instead of advocating cultural sensitivity in a general way, this framework alerts teachers to specific cultural differences that are likely to diverge from school-based practices and values. Across a variety of circumstances, teachers tend to believe in an independent self. This sort of bilingualism is quite common in the United States and other nations with immigrant populations (Tse, 2001). https://courses.lumenlearning.com/educationalpsychology. A student may end up using English in the classroom or at work, for example, but continue using Spanish at home or with friends, even though he or she is perfectly capable of speaking English with them. Connection to Anti-bias Education Consider these examples: In some cultures, it is considered polite or even intelligent not to speak unless you have something truly important to say. Students should be involved in setting classroom norms to generate buy-in. Be willing to address inequality | Part of supporting diversity in the classroom is creating a space for … With two languages to work with, parents can stay “in the loop” better about their children’s educations and support the teacher’s work—for example, by assisting more effectively with homework (Ebert, 2005). Preference for activities that are cooperative rather than competitive. But sometimes fear, uncertainty, or discomfort prevent people from talking to each other. By the time the children become adults, they are likely to speak and write English better than their heritage language, and may even be unable or unwilling to use the heritage language with their own children (the grandchildren of the original immigrants). Generally, though also more indirectly, minimizing language loss helps all bilingual students’ education because preservation tends to enrich students’ and parents’ ability to communicate with each other. Every school and early childhood education program has a culture too. Research finds that language loss limits students’ ability to learn English as well or as quickly as they otherwise can do. Practice Cultural Sensitivity. Although monolingual speakers often do not realize it, the majority of children around the world are bilingual, meaning that they understand and use two languages (Meyers-Scotton, 2005). Unfortunately, the bilingualism of many students is “unbalanced” in the sense that they are either still learning English, or else they have lost some earlier ability to use their original, heritage language—or occasionally a bit of both. Learn how cultural differences can play out in the classroom. Cultural diversity in the classroom involves celebrating those differences and creating a culture of inclusion and acceptance among students and the greater school community. “ Structure classroom activities so as to promote a multiplicity of perspectives (i.e., voices)” (DaSilva … Teachers who are interested in fostering a cultural awareness in their classroom should actively demonstrate to their … For a few years, though not forever, young students are encouraged to use both of their languages. Nor will the follow-up question: “Could the ‘cat’ meow?” confuse them. For example, many cultures consider it appropriate for students to keep their eyes cast downward toward their desk, their notebook, or textbook. This can, in turn, provi… James Banks has proposed five features of a fully multicultural educational program (2009). Most important, the framework encourages teachers to recognize their own practices as cultural in origin rather than as simply the "right way" to do things. At some level, of course, we all value interpersonal skill and to this extent think of ourselves as interdependent. In larger communities throughout the United States, it is therefore common for a single classroom to contain students from several language backgrounds at once. Chitchat, or talk that simply affirms a personal tie between people, is considered immature or intrusive (Minami, 2002). Consider these examples: Figure 5.16 How do Classrooms Accommodate Different Cultures? Educators criticized the policy for focusing too much on testing as the only indication of student performance. In Western culture, this may be a sign that the person is not paying attention to the speaker. A Perfect 10. Educators with a deeper understanding of cultural norms and expectations are better equipped to decipher potentially confusing behaviors and reduce conflict in the classroom. A cultural mismatch is caused by tension between a student’s home and school culture, and is often due to differences in areas that include religious and spiritual beliefs, cultural practices, family background, and language. A teacher deliberately organizes important activities or assignments competitively, as in “Let’s see who finishes the math sheet first”. As you might suspect and as research has confirmed, a fully fluent bilingual student is in a better position than usual to express concepts or ideas in more than one way, and to be aware of doing so (Jimenez, et al. Children’s academic performance is often measured with the use of standardized tests. Of course! Here are some of the possibilities—though keep in mind that there are also differences among students as individuals, whatever their background. Culture is the system of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that constitute the distinctive way of life of a people. 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