ERIC Number: ED213265
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Whose Reality? Mismatch of Perceptions of ESL Pupils and Teachers in Britain.
Collet, R. J.
The role of the specialist in English as a Second Language (ESL) in sensitizing colleagues, administrators and politicians to the mismatch of perceptions in the classroom and in helping establish and consolidate links with the minority communities is discussed. Seven factors said to contribute to the underachievement of children of Caribbean origin in Great Britain are reviewed in order to point out the mismatch. These factors are: (1) racism in schools, (2) racism in society, (3) inappropriate curriculum and examination syllabi, (4) inadequate preschool provision, (5) linguistic difficulties, (6) teachers' low expectations of West Indian pupils, and (7) loss of trust and understanding between teachers and West Indian parents. A welcoming acceptance of cultural diversity and a spirit of tolerant pluralism should underlie discussions between parents and teachers. The ESL teacher must be prepared to be a "change agent" within the school, mediating between the perceptions and aspiration of the child and the generally low expectations of colleagues, being available to explain the strengths and weaknesses of having a bicultural background and being able to inform on the deficit hypothesis and lead towards the repertoire approach to language. Discussion includes the role of the ESL teacher and ESL materials and the training of teachers (initial, induction, and inservice). (Author/JK)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: United Kingdom; West Indians
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (16th, London, December 18-21, 1981).